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Attorney for UCLA slashing suspect: "A sad situation for all parties involved"

October 13, 2009 |  6:51 pm


The defense attorney for the UCLA student accused of slashing the throat of a classmate last week said today the incident was "a sad situation for all parties involved."

The suspect, Damon Thompson, allegedly stabbed a classmate five times and slashed her throat in a crime prosecutors said Wednesday was premeditated and unprovoked. Thompson was charged today with one count of attempted murder in the Oct. 8 attack in a chemistry class in Young Hall. If convicted, Thompson faces life in state prison with the possibility of parole.

Thompson, 20, pleaded not guilty but was ordered held on $3-million bail by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz after prosecutors argued the Belize native was a flight risk.

Defense attorney Robin B. Berkovitz described her client as a hard-working biochemistry major with no prior criminal record. She said his mother flew in from Belize and father came from out of state to attend the arraignment at the Airport Courthouse.

“I was assigned to the case today. There is a lot of information that has yet to be presented,” Berkovitz said. 

Despite initial reports that there was an argument between the students, prosecutors said that Thursday’s attack was unprovoked and that Thompson pulled out a knife and began stabbing the student for no apparent reason. Authorities said the victim, identified in court as 20-year-old Katherine Rosen, had five stab wounds and had her throat slashed.

--Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Damon D. Thompson arrives for his arraignment hearing October 13, 2009 at Airport Courthouse, in West Los Angeles. Thompson is a UCLA student accused of slashing the throat of a female student in a lab on campus last week. The arraignment was moved to October 27, 2009. Spencer Weiner/LAT