California man Jason Scott Gustin was found guilty of attempted murder for slashing the throat of his ex-girlfriend after she broke up with him

By Christine Pelisek
October 10, 2018 10:28 AM
Credit: Los Angeles County

A 20-year-old California man was found guilty Tuesday of attempted murder for slashing the throat of his ex-girlfriend after she broke up with him, PEOPLE confirms.

A Los Angeles County jury also found Jason Scott Gustin guilty of mayhem and the special allegation that he personally inflicted great bodily injury upon the victim under circumstances involving domestic violence and that he used a knife during the crime.

Gustin is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 4 and faces 29 years to life in prison.

He and the victim, a then-17-year-old girl, had been dating for two years when she broke up with him on Aug. 17, 2016, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. But she agreed to meet up with him five days later to talk about their relationship.

That’s when Gustin attacked: They were sitting inside his car when he pulled out a box cutter and began slashing her throat and strangling her, prosecutors said.

As the girl tried to flee, Gustin slashed the back of her neck, cut her arm and sliced her right thigh.

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She was finally able to escape and ran nearly a quarter of a mile to a convalescent home for help.

Still, Gustin pursued her, prosecutors said, and he even attempted to gain entry to the home but was thwarted by a nurse who locked the doors.

He was later apprehended in Arcadia at his mother’s work.

Gustin’s defense attorney, Ambrosio Rodriguez, says he “suffers from a lot of emotional issues and has deep seated psychological problems.”

Rodriguez maintains that the attack was a “crime of passion,” not premeditated, and he never planned to kill his ex-girlfriend.

“She was his life, and when she broke up with him and ended the relationship it was something he couldn’t accept and reacted in a way that was violent,” Rodriguez tells PEOPLE.

“He didn’t plan to kill her,” he says of Gustin. “He just snapped.”

Gustin, a part-time college student, had the box cutter because of his job stocking shelves at a grocery store, Rodriguez says.

He says his client regrets the attack.

“He [Gustin] was so remorseful he tried to kill himself,” Rodriguez says. “When he was arrested, he was on suicide watch for months.”