SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A serial burglar who slashed a female San Diego police officer and two good Samaritans with a knife during a struggle in City Heights last year was sentenced Friday to nearly 25 years in state prison.
Michael Anthony Gonzales, 44, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, 17 counts of residential burglary and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Before handing down the sentence, Superior Court Judge Eugenia Eyherabide denied the defendant's motion to withdraw his plea.
Gonzales attacked Officer Kelly Doherty after she stopped him on his bicycle for a traffic violation on 34th Street near Orange Avenue about 12:35 p.m. last Aug. 13.
Deputy District Attorney Oscar Garcia said Gonzales was cooperative until Doherty discovered he was wanted for missing a scheduled court appearance in one of his burglary cases. He then threw her down and stomped on her head, face and body, Garcia said.
Doherty testified at an earlier hearing that Gonzales repeatedly threatened to kill her during the struggle. She said she tried to lay on her right side so that he would not be able to reach her service weapon.
A good Samaritan, Joseph Mejia, intervened, enabling Doherty to shoot Gonzales twice with a Taser and subdue him, she testified.
Doherty suffered wounds to her chin and neck. Mejia was wounded on the neck, and another man who intervened, Robert Haley, was cut on the arm.
A third man, Armando Guerrero, was able to get the knife away from the defendant.
Deputy District Attorney Dennis Panish said Gonzales victimized people in residential burglaries all over San Diego from October 2008 until last August.
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