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4 plead guilty in assault on former Banning beauty queen

Three women held her down as the fourth slashed her face, head and back because they thought the husband of one was flirting with her, prosecutors say. They face six- to 12-year prison sentences.

August 28, 2011|By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
  • From left, Azia Aldred, Erica Michele Bastidas, Labrea Steward and Arian Atkins.
From left, Azia Aldred, Erica Michele Bastidas, Labrea Steward and Arian… (Banning Police Department )

Four women who slashed the face of a former beauty queen as one attacker yelled "Remember me when you look in the mirror!" have pleaded guilty in the assault, prosecutors said.

It was a quiet evening on a residential street in Banning in July 2008 when jealousy and rage boiled over, prosecutors said.

Erica Michele Bastidas and three friends wrongly believed that Bastidas' husband's flirtatious remarks toward neighbor Shanice Wilson — the 2005 Banning Peach Queen and a former cheerleader — were signs of something more.

"There was a lot of jealousy. The defendants and victim didn't get along. They believed one of their husbands was flirting with the victim," said Maureen Dumouchel, a Riverside County deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case.

The attack began when Bastidas, 24, began screaming at Wilson, then dragged her into the street, Dumouchel said.

Within minutes, Bastidas' friends had joined in on the attack, authorities said. Three women held Wilson down. A fourth, Azia Aldred, yelled, "Remember me when you look in the mirror!," then slashed Wilson across the face, head and back with a carpet cutter, Dumouchel said. Wilson's wounds required plastic surgery.

"It was an unprovoked and brutal attack," Dumouchel said.

The women fled, leaving Wilson bleeding in the street. Aldred later surrendered; others tried to hide. Within days, all were in custody.

Aldred, 27, pleaded guilty this week to felony mayhem and felony assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm. She faces a 12-year sentence next month. All four women struck a deal on the eve of trial, with prosecutors agreeing to drop an aggravated mayhem charge that could have resulted in a life sentence.

Bastidas was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Two other defendants, Arian Atkins, 21, and Labrea Steward, 30, pleaded guilty to several felony assault counts and were each sentenced to six years in prison. All have already served three years.

Bastidas' husband, Clarence Dunahoo, was also arrested and later pleaded guilty to a felony accessory charge. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

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