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Drifter Sentenced to 25-Year Term for Attempted Murder

January 09, 1998

A drifter from Chicago who attacked a Santa Monica woman with an ax in front of her 2-year-old daughter has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for attempted murder.

Kenneth James Wisinskis, 25, met Yuling Tyson at a local drug and alcohol treatment center in 1996.

Tyson invited him to stay at her home, but her husband asked Wisinskis to move out because of his substance abuse problems, said Sandy Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney.

A few weeks later, he returned and attacked the 33-year-old mother with an ax, doused her with gasoline and tried to set her on fire, Gibbons said. But his pocket cigarette lighter failed to ignite, and as police officers approached, he grabbed Tyson's daughter to shield himself and slashed her legs with the blade during his struggle to flee.

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