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Hearing delayed in murder case

Stabbing occurred 7 months ago

Posted: July 10, 2008 12:46 a.m.
Updated: September 10, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Michael Dean Stephens

 

On Wednesday a preliminary hearing setting for accused murderer Michael Dean Stephens was postponed until Aug. 19, more than seven months after Stephens allegedly stabbed and ran over a Canyon Country man.

Stephens, who turns 19 on Friday, appeared with his attorney in Department C of the San Fernando courthouse Wednesday morning. Attorneys on both sides agreed to have the administrative preliminary hearing setting rescheduled, according to the courtroom bailiff.

Last November, Stephens turned himself in to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station after being accused of fatally stabbing 20-year-old Joshua Pipho, 20, in Stevenson Ranch.

Pipho’s friend, 22-year-old Chad Weitz, was injured in the same attack after being hit by a car and stabbed some 17 times, allegedly by Stephens. While in the hospital, Weitz was treated for a punctured lung and received four blood transfusions.

According to detectives, the double stabbings occurred on Nov. 24, 2007 when Pipho and Weitz reportedly saw a group of men vandalizing a vehicle after leaving a party at the Diamond Head condo complex in the 25200 block of Steinbeck Avenue.

Stephens allegedly approached Pipho, stabbed him, then drove over him with a car. Weitz, coming to Pipho’s aid, was allegedly hit by the car before being stabbed.

Stephens faces charges of murder and attempted murder, and is currently being held in custody in lieu of $1 million bail. Deputy District Attorney Mary Sedgwick will represent the state throughout the trial process.

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