A woman was arrested Wednesday, accused of fatally stabbing her cousin at a large family gathering in Oceanside.
Jerry Faulkner, 35, of Las Vegas died after the argument escalated into violence outside a condo on Los Arbolitos Boulevard.
"The noise became louder and then I opened the door and I saw a body lying on the ground," next-door neighbor Catherine Dumbacher said.
When officers arrived at the scene around 7:45 p.m, they discovered Faulkner in serious condition on the lawn outside a condo.
The victim’s sister, Shondria Ferrand, spoke with NBC 7 San Diego. As a former nurse, she said she tried to save her brother once he had been stabbed.
She caught Faulkner's head before it hit the ground, began chest compressions and begged her brother to keep breathing.
“I tried to bring him back, I tried,” Ferrand said while sobbing uncontrollably.
LaShauna Blanks, 24, of Memphis, Tenn., a cousin to the victim, was arrested by Oceanside police. Investigators say Blanks stabbed the victim in the upper torso.
Faulkner and his fiancée had left town, with two of their young children but, surprisingly, the couple returned and began fighting with Blanks on the front lawn she said.
Emergency crews tried to perform CPR on Faulkner however, he was taken to Palomar Hospital where he later died.
“It doesn’t seem real,” Ferrand said.
Ferrand said she walked up to the confrontation at the end and wasn’t sure about the events that led up to the fatal stabbing.
Family members say Blanks (pictured right) had recently moved in with Faulkner and his fiancée and that the two women did not get along.
Ferrand told NBC 7 San Diego that her brother had gotten physically violent with his cousin in the past, in defense of his fiancée.
She was very concerned about her nieces and nephew. Officials said the victim's four children have been returned to Las Vegas.
Blanks was taken to the Vista Detention Center and later transferred to Las Colinas Detention Facility. She had two children at the condo at the time of the confrontation.
Oceanside police Lt. Leonard Mata said Blanks was booked on first degree murder charges.
On Friday, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office said Blanks had been appointed a public defender to represent her in court. Her bail has been set at $5 million.
Blanks is scheduled to appear in court for a readiness conference on Dec. 17. A preliminary hearing has been set for Dec. 19, a representative from the DA’s office said.
Blanks faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted.