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UDPATED: Love Triangle Stabber Found Guilty of Assault

Cheng I. Cheng found not guilty of attempted murder.

Updated 1:58 p.m. with defendant's restitution fines and defense attorney's statement.

A jury found Cheng "Kevin" Cheng guilty of two felony counts stemming from a 2004 stabbing incident in Redwood City: assault with a deadly weapon and assault committing serious bodily injury. The jury found him not guilty of attempted murder and were deadlocked 10-2 on attempted voluntary manslaughter. The Deputy District Attorney assigned to the case, Chris Feasel, said the court would not pursue separate trials for these charges.

“He was convicted of two very serious charges, so we are happy with that,” Feasel said. “And we respect the jury’s decision on the other deadlocked charges.”

Cheng I. Cheng and Fang "Roxanne" Wang had been in a three-year relationship until Wang ended the relationship in 2003 due to physical abuse. According to a Los Angeles Court report, Cheng had previously stabbed Wang and broke a beer bottle over her head, which left her partially paralyzed in the hospital for a week. In June 2004, Cheng went to the home of Fang Wang and her future husband, James "Dan" Connell, and confronted Wang.
 
Connell testified in court that during the confrontation Cheng had violently grabbed Wang, so Connell pushed Cheng away with one hand and Cheng fell to the ground. Cheng then pulled out an eight-inch kitchen knife and stabbed Connell multiple times, requiring 45 stitches. In a follow up e-mail interview, Connell said that only after he had been stabbed multiple times he was forced to place a compliance choke hold on Cheng until Cheng released the knife.

Defense Attorney Jesse Ortiz said Cheng was acting in self-defense, though the jury ruled against this.
 
"We were very satisfied with the not guilty finding for attempted murder, which saved him from a life in prison sentence," Ortiz said. "But we believe Mr. Cheng was acting in self-defense, but we respect the jury's decision."

Even though Wang is now married to the victim and has had his child, she changed her original statement claiming that the victim was the aggressor in the scuffle, complicating the trial, Feasel said.

The maximum sentence for the two charges would have been four years, but Cheng had been in jail since June 2004, serving more time than the sentence, according to Feasel.

Cheng would normally have been freed after having been sentenced to time served for this offense, but Feasel said Cheng has warrants from other counties and has an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold that will likely detain him in jail. Cheng must pay a $220 restitution fine, a $40 court security fine, a $30 criminal conviction fine, and restitution to the victim in an amount to be determined, and submit to genetic marker testing so that the Department of Corrections will have his DNA on record.

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