VISTA — A man was sentenced on May 23 to life in prison without parole, for fatally stabbing a northern California woman at an Oceanside shopping center parking lot during an attempt to rob her.
In March, Eric Russell Andreasen, 39, was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of Katherine Parker, 54, of Lincoln, who had been in north county visiting relatives when she was stabbed to death during a daytime shopping trip.
Andreasen had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but jurors found that he was legally sane during the attack, and also found true a special circumstance allegation for murder during a robbery.
Parker had been returning to her vehicle after shopping in a Hallmark Store at 2425 Vista Way, on April 3, 2009, when Andreasen approached her, possibly demanding money, according to court records.
When police arrived, Parker was found with at least eight stab wounds to her neck and body, and was clutching her purse.
Andreasen was found lying on the ground nearby, facing the victim. He had blood on both of his hands and a knife was discovered in the bushes, according to documents.
Parker was airlifted to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Andreasen’s defense attorney argued that the defendant’s mental illness of Schizophrenia had led him to murder Parker, according to previous reports of court testimony before the sentencing.
Witnesses reported to police that they heard Andreasen say “God told me to do that,” immediately following the stabbing.
The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Roy Lai, told the court that Andreasen acted out of anger because the victim refused to give Andreasen money after he approached her in the strip mall’s parking lot.
Records show that Andreasen was diagnosed with Schizophrenia when he was about 27, and twice had served time in Patton State Hospital, which treats those with mental illness who were committed by the judicial system.
His previous convictions include a second- degree burglary and attempted grand theft and assault, and he has a lengthy criminal history that dates back to 1990 for a robbery in La Verne, and includes crimes afterward such as petty theft, indecent exposure, assault and battery that took place in various southern California cities that were mainly in the Orange County area.
Vista Superior Court Judge Aaron Katz apologized to Parker’s husband and some relatives who had attended the hearings, and said he was very, very sorry for their loss.
Al Parker, 65, is the husband of the late Katherine, and was at the May 23 sentencing.
He said after court that the victim was his wife of 30 years who was in the local area visiting relatives at the time of her murder.
She had been out on a shopping trip for the first time since recovering from a recent surgery, he said.
He described his wife as a kind, good woman and said she did not deserve what happened to her.
As for Andreasen’s life sentence to prison, with no parole plus seven years, he said “I’m glad it’s finally over and he’s where he belongs.”
Andreasen must notify the court within 60 days if he plans to appeal.