A San Francisco jury has acquitted a 31-year-old woman today who fatally stabbed her boyfriend in a hotel room in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood last year, according to the San Francisco Public Defender Office.
The jury found that defendant Lisa Heng, who was arrested on July 18, 2014 for the fatal stabbing of 40-year-old Matt Sheahan, was acting in self-defense.
Both Heng and Sheahan were known to have been using methamphetamine in the time period leading up to the killing.
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who tried the case, said Heng was raised in San Francisco and went to elementary through high school in the city. She graduated from the Galileo Academy of Science & Technology high school.
“It’s a pretty clear case of self-defense,” Adachi said at Heng’s arraignment last year.
Heng, who stabbed Sheahan once in the heart, was acquitted today of all charges by a jury after two days of deliberation and a nearly month-long trial.
Heng faced a first-degree murder charge and the lesser charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
According to the public defender’s office, members of the jury embraced the crying Heng following the verdict being read today.
Heng, a single mother with no criminal record, was engaged in a fight with Sheahan at the Monarch Hotel that ended when she stabbed him. She called 911, but Sheahan died at the hospital shortly thereafter.
Adachi said the pair met on a dating app and that Heng fell hard for the Marin County man, causing her to overlook his methamphetamine addiction and also led her to join him in the drug use. He said Sheahan also had a history of domestic violence.
In a statement released today, Adachi said, “Lisa was forced to defend her life that terrible morning in the Monarch Hotel. The last thing she wanted was to hurt the man she loved,” Adachi said. “Thankfully, the jury considered the evidence and ended this nightmare for Lisa and her family. We are extremely relieved.”
Heng, who has been in jail since her 2014 arrest, will be released today, according to the public defender’s office.
Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News