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Man pleads not guilty to murder charges

VISTA — Alexander John Twedt, 29, pleaded not guilty June 2 to attempted murder charges, alleging he slashed the throat of his transgender lover following an argument over Twedt’s criminal past.
The victim suffered two life-threatening injuries but had been treated at Palomar Medical Center and releasedseveral days after the May 30 attack.
Twedt has at least three prior felony convictions and is wanted by authorities in North Dakota on an active warrant for forgery charges, according to court documents.
The victim learned of Twedt’s past after discovering a booking photo of Twedt along with a warrant for his arrest, according to Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe. The couple had known each other for one month.
The stabbing took place at a residence in the 1600 block of Cherry St. in Escondido, the morning after the couple argued, Watanabe said.
“He believed the victim was betraying him and giving information to other people,” he said.
The victim was stabbed with a folding utility knife and sustained major damage to the neck area.
Twedt was arrested at the residence after police responded to the 5:53 a.m. call about a stabbing, said Lt. Craig Carter of the Escondido Police Department.
“The defendant was arrested and admitted to stabbing the victim,” Watanabe said.
Twedt rented a bedroom at the Cherry Street house, which he shared with a family and their two children. The family was at home during the time of the stabbing.
Twedt was assigned a public defender and a preliminary hearing was set for June 16. The current felony charge, which includes two special allegations, carries a maximum of 13 years in prison.
Twedt’s prior convictions include possession of marijuana, property theft and battery with a deadly weapon.
Superior Court Judge Marshall Y. Hockett set bail at $1 million.
 It is the policy of The Coast News to not identify victims of domestic violence.