Mall Killing Suspect in Court; Motive Not

A man accused of killing a woman in a Toys R Us parking who gave a jailhouse interview over the weekend entered a plea in case Tuesday.

Eric Russell Andreasen, 37, is accused of stabbing Katherine Parker, 54, Friday in a mall parking lot in the 2400 Block of Vista Way in Oceanside. Parker was airlifted to Scripps La Jolla Hospital with critical injuries Friday where she later died. She was visiting from Lincoln in Northern California with her family.

On Tuesday, Andreasen pleaded not guilty to murder. No family or friends of either Andreasen's or Parker's were in court Tuesday. He is being held without bail at the Vista Detention Center.

Investigators concede that a motive for the killing remains elusive. In fact, Oceanside police are still looking for witnesses to come forward to aid the investigation. Officers said they do not believe Andreasen know Parker.

"He cut her across the stomach, he cut her across the neck, and he cut her mouth and up," said one witness.  After the stabbing she says he threw the knife, then sat down and waited for police to arrive.

According to Orange County court records obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Andreasen pleaded guilty to several crimes between 1999 and 2003, including:

  • Battery on a peace officer
  • Public intoxication
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to register as a sex offender.

Oceanside police also arrested him in 2004 on suspicion of attempted robbery, battery and assault with a deadly weapon the paper reported.

Court records reveal that in 2004, while Andreasen was awaiting trial for a North County theft attempt, doctors deemed him mentally incompetent and unable to assist his attorneys, the North County Times reported. He was committed to Patton State Hospital, which treats mentally ill patients, according to the paper, and after a 76-day stretch at the San Bernardino facility, Andreasen was found competent and sent back to North County for trial.

Last weekend, Andreasen briefly talked about his past, the victim and whether he regrets the alleged killing from jail Saturday.  He has a tattoo on his right arm that reads “Demon” -- an appropriate word for the crime he is accused of committing.

  • Reporter:  “Did you know the woman who was killed yesterday?”
  • Andreasen: “No, I don’t know the woman who was killed yesterday.”
  • Reporter:  “Had you seen her before?”
  • Andreasen: “I’m not sure, I don’t think so.”
  • Reporter: “Do you regret what happened?”
  • Andreasen: “Not exactly.”

Andreasen said he had been abused in prison before and had just got off parole, a fact confirmed Tuesday by Oceanside police Sgt. Kelan Poorman.

Andreasen is due back in court on April 17.

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