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Merced man found guilty in stabbing case

Clint Edward Ward, 30, of Merced, was found guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter Thursday afternoon in Merced County Superior Court after a weeklong jury trial.

Ward, charged with stabbing 27-year-old Ruben Herrera 28 times on June 17, 2007, faces a maximum 9½-year prison term when he is sentenced at 9 a.m. May 22 by Judge Ronald Hansen.

Ward was found not guilty of attempted murder but guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon and numerous enhancements of committing a crime with a deadly weapon.

Deputy District Attorney Tom Cooke commended the jury of seven women and five men for working through a very complicated case and a victim who was reluctant to cooperate.

"I thought they arrived at an appropriate and just verdict," Cooke said. "It was not easy case; there were a lot of issues to work through."

The jury heard 2½ days of testimony involving the Mother's Day stabbing at a house in the 400 block of El Portal Court in North Merced. Cooke praised the efforts of Merced police Detective Dave Alcaraz and other officers connected with the case.

Attorney Tom Pfeiff represented Ward.

Police said the resident of the home on El Portal Court had ended a dating relationship with Ward. He is accused of entering the home and stabbing Herrera, who police said was the woman's new boyfriend. Herrera was stabbed in the neck, shoulder, arms, upper body and legs.

Ward, wearing slacks and a pin-striped short-sleeved shirt, appeared to wipe away tears with a tissue when the verdict was read.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached

at (209) 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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