Trial Ordered in Newport Beach Man's Stabbing

from From a Times Staff Writer

A 21-year-old man who allegedly stabbed a Newport Beach man in the neck without provocation was ordered held for trial Friday on a charge of attempted murder.

Municipal Judge Bruce A. Clark ordered Gene Ebright of Ventura to stand trial in Superior Court on charges including attempted murder in the July 19 attack.

Jack Landry, 31, of Newport Beach testified during a preliminary hearing that Ebright approached him with a knife in the parking lot of a Carrows Restaurant in Ventura. Landry said he and his friend, Sean Walsh, were standing in the lot sipping coffee and were about to drive to Solvang.

When Walsh said hello and waved, Ebright began insulting and taunting the men and making obscene remarks about their mothers, Landry testified.

When the two ignored Ebright's offer to fight in the parking lot, Ebright got into a car and left, Landry testified.

But the car stopped before leaving the parking lot, Landry said.

"I saw the metallic flash of a knife, and he came back to me at a run," Landry said. "He hit me in the rib cage, and then he hit me up in the neck. . . . I was tossed up against Sean, and both our coffees went everywhere, and I went down to my knees."

Ebright fled, and Landry was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for cut rib muscles and a stab wound that narrowly missed a neck artery, Landry testified.

Ebright--whose arms, hands and hairline are covered with tattooed bones, spider webs, lightning bolts and Nazi symbols--often smiled at Landry during the testimony.

Deputy Public Defender Susan Olson said none of the testimony showed that Ebright had intended to kill Landry.

Ebright is being held on $50,000 bond pending arraignment in Superior Court, scheduled for Sept. 27. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to life in prison, Deputy Dist. Atty. Richard Simon said.

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