Plea deal in last week's knife attack at Turlock park

rahumada@modbee.comAugust 8, 2013 

    Rosalio Ahumada
    Title: Courts reporter
    Coverage areas: Criminal cases, breaking news
    Bio: Rosalio Ahumada has been a reporter at The Bee for more than seven years, previously covering crime and public safety issues. He also has worked at the Merced Sun-Star, covering education.
    Recent stories written by Rosalio
    On Twitter: @ModBeeCourts

— A man on Thursday pleaded no contest to attempted murder 10 days after he cut his ex-girlfriend with a knife at a Turlock park, where they agreed to meet and exchange belongings.

Daniel Lee Rigney, 52, also pleaded no contest to making criminal threats. The charge of attempted murder included an enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

Deputy District Attorney Beth O'Hara Owen, who prosecuted the case, said the judge sentenced Rigney to eight years and eight months in prison. The plea deal avoids a trial and a preliminary hearing, which was scheduled to start Monday.

As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse.

The attack occurred about 5:45 p.m. July 29 and ended when passers-by intervened and held the suspect.

Authorities have said Rigney and his ex-girlfriend agreed to meet at Donnelly Park on Pedras Road to return each other's belongings after their relationship ended.

Rigney brandished the knife, cut her neck and threatened to kill her, Turlock police said. People at the park stopped the attack and held Rigney on the ground until officers arrived.

The victim was taken to a hospital with serious injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or (209) 578-2394. Follow him on Twitter @ModBeeCourts.

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