Lisa Heng, 31, was acquitted of first-degree murder after a jury found that she stabbed her boyfriend in self-defense during a struggle in a Tenderloin hotel. (Courtesy photos)

SF woman acquitted of murder in fatal stabbing of lover

A jury has acquitted a 31-year-old San Francisco woman of first-degree murder and lesser charges, finding that she stabbed her lover in self-defense during a methamphetamine-infused fight in a Tenderloin hotel last year.

The “nightmare” situation ended Friday for Lisa Heng, a single mother of a 10-year-old daughter, according to the Public Defender’s Office. Heng was set to be released from custody Friday after serving more than a year in jail for stabbing boyfriend Matt Sheahan in the heart once on July 18, 2014.

Heng testified during the trial that Sheahan lunged at her when the four-inch pocket knife went into his chest, killing him. She had been holding the knife upside down when it happened, according to testimony from the medical examiner.

Sheahan’s former girlfriend testified that she’d experience a similar incident with Sheahan for which he had been arrested, which helped Heng’s case, according to the Public Defender’s Office. Heng had no criminal history before the murder charge was levied against her.

Heng was represented by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose spirited defense painted Heng as an innocent girl taken advantage of by her meth-addicted boyfriend.

“Lisa was forced to defend her life that terrible morning in the Monarch Hotel. The last thing she wanted was to hurt the man she loved,” Adachi said in a statement. “Thankfully, the jury considered the evidence and ended this nightmare for Lisa and her family. We are extremely relieved.”

The prosecution tried to characterize Heng as an irresponsible mother who was infatuated by her boyfriend, spending the few dollars she had on hotel rooms and methamphetamine.

Heng was facing a first-degree murder charge and could have been convicted on lesser charges of second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. Jurors deliberated for two days before determining she was not guilty.

Jonah Owen Lamb contributed to this report.

Untitled-1

Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City could try to stop Lyft from dropping cash payments for bikeshare

A city supervisor hopes to force Lyft to keep accepting cash for… Continue reading

SF judge holds GOP House candidate Omar Navarro on stalking charges

Navarro is accused of his threatening ex-girlfriend: ‘I’m going to have antifa come after your family’

San Francisco community advocate to join District 5 supervisor’s race

Daniel Landry is the former president of the New Community Leadership Foundation

Vital link between two Muni train cars ‘failed’ while carrying passengers

A Muni train carrying passengers suffered a mechanical failure causing two rail cars to reportedly loosen and bump into each other

Most Read