Brought to Court: Man accused of stabbing woman outside Costco - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Brought to Court: Man accused of stabbing woman outside Costco

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – The man accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend outside a Carlsbad Costco store pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

Charles Higgins, 62, was taken into custody late Friday in Temecula – hours after the alleged attack.

“There can be little question the defendant poses a significant risk to the victim. In this case, to the public and to himself if he is not in jail,” said the prosecution.

According to deputy district attorney Benjamin Barlow, Higgins “waited for her to come out of that Costco, came up from behind while she was loading into her car” and strangled his ex-girlfriend.

The victim has only been identified as being in her 70s.

Barlow said Higgins pulled out a knife, stabbed her repeatedly in her neck and back.

The neck wound she sustained nicked a part of her carotid artery and also caused significant injuries to her neck, according to Barlow.

Had bystanders not intervened and stopped the attack, Barlow said the victim would have died.

Higgins was captured in Temecula after being pulled over by police and Border Patrol. Not wanting to give himself up easily, Higgins doused himself in gasoline and tried to light himself on fire.

An agent was able to knock the lighter out of Higgins’ hand.

Prosecutors said this is not the first criminal case involving the victim. In 2017, Higgins was convicted for another domestic violence incident involving her.

Court records show she filed a restraining order against him in 2016 – writing that Higgins had held her captive and chocked, beat and threatened her with a gun on her birthday after she tried to break up with him.

The victim also said Higgins attacked her in 2015.

On Wednesday, prosecutors asked for no bail arguing the defendant out of custody poses a threat to kill the victim.

As for the victim, she remains in the intensive care unit with her family by her side.

“Obviously, they are extremely concerned going through a lot helping her recover. They are with her every day,” said Barlow.

Higgins faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

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