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Suspect in Blade Attacks to Face Trial

July 15, 1993|BARBARA MURPHY

A Ventura man accused of stalking young women in Burbank and Simi Valley shopping centers and wedging razor-like blades into the seats of their cars was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on 28 felony charges.

Ventura Municipal Judge Steven Hintz ruled after a two-hour preliminary hearing that there was sufficient evidence to order Gary Jean Muntifering, 53, to stand trial on 14 counts each of attempted mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon.

None of the victims testified at the hearing. Instead, Simi Valley Police Officer William Daniels recounted the attacks on 14 women between June 8 and 11 at various stores covering a 3 1/2-mile stretch in that city.

None of the women saw who it was who embedded the industrial box opener blades in the front seats of their unlocked cars while they were shopping. Several of the women suffered cuts to their legs and buttocks when they returned to their vehicles and sat on the blades, Daniels testified.

Also testifying at the hearing was Burbank Police Detective Roger C. Mason, who said two women in that city also found blades in their cars after shopping at a grocery store.

Burbank police set up surveillance at the grocery parking lot and arrested Muntifering when they saw him looking into several cars, Mason said.

Police found 53 blades in Muntifering's pickup truck after his arrest, Mason testified.

Hintz ordered Muntifering to appear in Superior Court for arraignment July 28, at which time a trial date will be set.

Muntifering is being held in Ventura County Jail, with bail set at $250,000.

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