A 57-year-old homeless man who stabbed a Russian tourist and went after the victim’s family with a knife during a bizarre and unprovoked attack in Hollywood received a nine-year prison sentence on Thursday, authorities said.
Donald Offerman, 57, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon during an appearance in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement. He also admitted to the special allegations of using a knife and causing great bodily injury for the seemingly random attack at a shopping and entertainment venue.
A judge immediately sentenced him to 9 years in state prison.
The stabbing took place on Nov. 18, 2015, as the victim and his family, who were visiting Hollywood as tourists, were ascending a flight of stairs at the Hollywood and Highland Center, according to the the District Attorney’s Office.
“Offerman came up behind the group and slashed the victim with a knife,” the statement said. The attacker also swung the weapon, which appeared to be an 8-inch-long kitchen knife, at the victim’s wife and their two children.
“A struggle ensued between Offerman and the victim, who was cut again by the knife as the man’s family ran away,” the statement said. The victim suffered injuries including a stab wound to his neck.
Two off-duty police detectives detained Offerman and held him until Los Angeles Police Department officers arrived.
Offerman was found mentally incompetent to stand trial about a month after the incident, officials said. But he was adjudicated to be competent for trial in April of 2018, and the prosecution continued.
Prosecutors initially filed one count of attempted murder and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon against Offerman.
If he had been convicted at trial as first charged, he could gave faced up to 24 years in state prison.