Man faces prison for stab­bing

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

A man char­ac­ter­ized as the “mon­ster un­der the bed” was sent to prison for stab­bing a male friend of a Cheltenham woman with whom he was ob­sessed after ly­ing in wait at her home.

Ger­ardo Lopez Me­jia, 29, of the 200 block of East Somerville Street, Philadel­phia, was sen­tenced in Mont­gomery County Court to 25 to 50 years in a state cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity after he pleaded guilty to charges of at­tempted mur­der and bur­glary in con­nec­tion with the March 18, 2017, in­ci­dent. The sen­tence was im­posed by Judge Gail A. Weil­heimer.

“As kids we hear sto­ries of the mon­ster un­der the bed and this man em­bod­ied that evil and brought that to life for the vic­tims,” said As­sis­tant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Rod­er­ick Fancher, who ar­gued for the lengthy prison term. “This is a per­son who was able to get in­side a home and lie in wait…He laid in wait un­der the bed…and when he saw

an­other man at that apart­ment his jeal­ousy turned this into at­tempted mur­der.”

Ac­cord­ing to de­tec­tives and pre­vi­ous tes­ti­mony, the woman met Me­jia March 4 at a club and they be­gan a brief re­la­tion­ship. The woman broke off the re­la­tion­ship when Me­jia al­legedly told her he wanted to be her “owner” and showed signs of be­ing pos­ses­sive. How­ever, Me­jia con­tin­ued to con­tact the woman and stalk her through text mes­sag­ing, author­i­ties al­leged.

On the night of the in­ci­dent, the woman feared Me­jia may show up at her apart­ment in the 7600 block of Wil­liams Way and she asked a male friend to ac­com­pany her there as a pre­cau­tion.

Me­jia was found hid­ing un­der the woman’s bed when she re­turned home about 6:30 a.m. After be­ing dis­cov­ered, Me­jia at­tacked the woman’s male friend, stab­bing him nine times, in­flict­ing in­juries to his back, torso, arm, and hand. The vic­tim un­der­went surgery for his in­juries, which in­cluded a punc­tured lung and punc­tured in­tes­tine, ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers.

“This is an in­ci­dent of clas­sic es­ca­la­tion of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence be­hav­ior, of some­body who be­comes ob­sessed and can’t let go and then es­ca­lates their ob­ses­sive be­hav­ior to vi­o­lence,” Fancher ar­gued. “He in­flicted ter­ror and evil upon

“As kids we hear sto­ries of the mon­ster un­der the bed and this man em­bod­ied that evil and brought that to life for the vic­tims.” — Mont­gomery County As­sis­tant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Rod­er­ick Fancher

these peo­ple out of his jeal­ousy and in­abil­ity to cope with not be­ing able to own a woman the way he wanted to.”

Me­jia fled from the res­i­dence after the at­tack but was taken into cus­tody by po­lice at the SEPTA bus loop at Cheltenham and Ogontz av­enues about 7 a.m.

Fancher said the case eas­ily could have been a mur­der case but for the “magic of mod­ern medicine” and the male vic­tim’s abil­ity to fight off Me­jia and pro­tect the woman.

“He’s a hero. He saved her life,” Fancher said about the male vic­tim.

Me­jia, an un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grant from Mex­ico, will face de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings after he com­pletes his prison term.

The woman, ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony and court doc­u­ments, was re­turn­ing from a con­cert in New York when she missed her con­nec­tion in Tren­ton early March 18 and called a long­time male friend to pick her up at the train sta­tion. Me­jia texted the woman around 3 a.m. and told her he was at her apart­ment and the woman told him to go home and that she didn’t want to see him, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint filed by Cheltenham De­tec­tive Steven Motta.

Me­jia tried call­ing the woman about 30 times while she and her friend stopped to have break­fast and she told her friend she was afraid Me­jia might be at her apart­ment and asked the friend to ac­com­pany her home.

When the woman’s friend searched the apart­ment, he ob­served Me­jia hid­ing un­der the woman’s bed. Me­jia then emerged, hold­ing a knife in his hand, and telling the woman, “you failed me,” ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers.

The woman’s friend told her to run and call 911. The vic­tim tack­led Me­jia as Me­jia came at him with the knife and both men went to the floor and the vic­tim was stabbed nu­mer­ous times dur­ing the altercation.

“I saw the knife and just started try­ing to stop him from stab­bing me but he stabbed me a few more times,” the vic­tim told de­tec­tives, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

The vic­tim even­tu­ally kicked Me­jia off of him and Me­jia fled from the apart­ment.

“(The woman) was in fear for her life,” Motta al­leged in the ar­rest af­fi­davit, adding the woman fol­lowed an emer­gency dis­patcher’s in­struc­tions to use a rag to ap­ply pres­sure to her friend’s se­vere back wound un­til an am­bu­lance ar­rived.

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