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Pair Plead Guilty In 2013 Stabbing Outside Chumash Casino

Two people arrested in connection with a stabbing near the Chumash Casino Resort parking structure more than two years ago pleaded guilty in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Osvaldo Hernandez, 37, of Santa Maria, and Cherie Rodriguez, 31, of Arroyo Grande, entered their pleas April 8 before Judge James Voysey in Santa Maria. 

The charges stem from a November 2013 incident that left a Nipomo man with serious injuries. Additionally, his cell phone and wallet were stolen. 

Hernandez pleaded guilty to attempted murder and robbery plus admitted using a knife and inflicting great bodily injury on the victim, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Stephen Foley said.

In pleading guilty, the defendant admitted committing the attempted murder for the benefit of criminal street gang, Foley added.

The defendant also admitted two prior convictions for serious felonies, serving time in prison, and not remaining free from custody for five years.

On May 9, Hernandez is set to be sentenced to 45 years in prison, and is expected to serve 85 percent of the time.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and inflicting great bodily injury.

She is expected to receive a sentence of seven years in state prison, and will serve 85 percent of that time.

The pair entered the guilty pleas days before the trial was scheduled to begin. 

Hernandez was represented by David Bixby while Rodriguez was represented by Lori Pedego.

Prior to the pleas, both defendants were facing life in prison if convicted of aggravated kidnapping, Foley said. 

Hours after the stabbing, Hernandez allegedly led deputies on a high-speed chase with a stolen vehicle into southern San Luis Obispo County when they attempted to pull him over in Santa Maria.

The chase ended in a crash near Grover Beach. While Rodriguez, the passenger in the vehicle, was arrested, Hernandez ran away. 

Several days later, Hernandez was captured in the 200 block of Inger Drive in Santa Maria after Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department detectives and Special Enforcement Team members got information that he may be hiding out in one of two homes.

He was arrested at gunpoint after trying to flee out the back door of a residence upon seeing deputies, authorities said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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