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Man pleads guilty to Thanksgiving Midway stabbings of two transients

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Posted at 2:15 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 17:15:29-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who stabbed a pair of homeless people -- one fatally -- in two separate Midway District attacks on the same day pleaded guilty Monday to murder and attempted murder charges.

Forrest Robert Brantley, 40, is expected to receive a 33 years-to-life state prison term when he is sentenced for the attacks, which occurred on Thanksgiving Day 2019.

Brantley admitted to fatally stabbing 55-year-old Robert Erbe in the neck at about 8 a.m. Nov. 28, 2019, outside a 7-Eleven store on Sports Arena Boulevard.

About six hours prior to Erbe's slaying, he also stabbed another homeless man in the back and arm on Sports Arena Boulevard, according to Deputy District Attorney Will Hopkins.

At Brantley's arraignment, the prosecutor said that after stabbing the first victim, Brantley returned to the area and approached Erbe and an unidentified second transient outside a convenience store.

Hopkins said he offered Erbe drugs in a bag and then stabbed the victim while Erbe was looking through the bag.

According to the prosecutor, Erbe asked Brantley why he stabbed him and Brantley responded, "This is war." The victim was taken to a hospital, where he died, according to San Diego police.

According to Hopkins, Brantley posted on social media days prior to the stabbings that he was going to "help the homeless," though his true intention was to target homeless victims.

Brantley was arrested in Ventura about a week later while walking near the intersection of the 101 Freeway and state Route 33, where officers recognized him from fugitive-suspect alerts, according to Ventura police.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 2.

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