Woman pleads no contest to manslaughter in fatal stabbing

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman who faced a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a man two years ago has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors said Mary Ellen Holmes, 41, entered the plea Monday and will be sentenced to 12 years in prison in October.

Holmes, Dyllan Denna and a third person gave a ride to Jeffrey Woodford after leaving an Oildale bar the night of Oct. 21, 2017, but the pickup they were traveling in ran out of gas.

While waiting for help, Holmes and the third person, also a woman, “made out,” according to a police report. Holmes noticed Woodford watching them and became angry, as did Denna.

Denna assaulted Woodford, who walked away but soon returned and asked to use a cellphone, according to the report. Holmes then stabbed him, prosecutors say.

The 48-year-old’s body was found the next morning in the center median of the 4400 block of Union Avenue, north of Columbus Street.

Holmes and Denna were arrested days later after someone called in a tip to police.

Denna, 32 at the time of killing, has pleaded no contest to assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. He’s set for sentencing Nov. 17.

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