Trial begins for alleged Sierra College stabber

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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The trial for a former Sierra College student accused of attempted murder began Monday. Paul Heintz, 23, allegedly stabbed Auburn resident Alex Abrahamian over a reported love triangle on Sierra College’s Rocklin campus March 24, 2009. Heintz is charged with attempted murder with an allegation that it was a willful, deliberate and premeditated attack. He is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon and an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury during the incident. Abrahamian, also a former Sierra College student, testified Monday that he was walking near the science building on the Sierra College campus when he heard running behind him. He said he was attacked from behind and stabbed multiple times in the torso. “Alex never had a chance to defend himself. He never saw it coming,” said prosecutor Jeff Wilson during opening statements Monday in a courtroom at the Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville. After the attack, Abrahamian was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where he underwent three surgeries – two on his abdomen and one on his hand. “I really didn’t know what was going to happen – if I was going to live or die,” Abrahamian said. Abrahamian was the first witness to take the stand in the trial Monday morning. He explained the relationship he had with Heintz, prior to the incident, as the two being “good friends.” Their friendship suffered when they became involved in an alleged love triangle with former Sierra College student Kelly Conroy. Abrahamian said the three were in the same chemistry class and formed a study group together with three other students. Heintz and Conroy allegedly went on three dates around February of 2008, before Conroy said she just wanted to be friends. At the end of the summer of 2008, Conroy and Abrahamian started dating. According to defense attorney Tim Balcom, Heintz considered Abrahamian to be his best friend prior to the alleged love triangle. Balcom said Heintz found out about Conroy and Abrahamian’s relationship through MySpace, a social networking website. In a letter from Heintz to Conroy, Heintz said he couldn’t forgive Abrahamian for dating Conroy. “I can never forgive him for that,” Heintz wrote in the letter read by Balcom. “I can never forgive that he cared so little about my feelings.” Balcom said there were numerous letters and text messages from Heintz to Conroy, but none revealed an intent of Heintz to kill Abrahamian. Balcom asked the jury to find Heintz not guilty of attempted murder, stating that for almost a year, Heintz bottled up his emotions, which turned into rage and resulted in the attack. Conroy was the second witness to take the stand. Conroy said that she believed Heintz had a hard time with being just friends. Balcom said Heintz had romantic feelings for Conroy, but she did not feel the same toward Heintz. In Wilson’s opening statement, he said the love triangle was all in Heintz’s mind. “With this love triangle, it was that only one person believed it existed and that was the defendant,” Wilson said. The issue of premeditation was brought up during day one of the trial. “How can you stab a man five times and not intend to kill?” Wilson said. Balcom disagreed and said that Heintz did not attempt to murder Abrahamian. “Paul Heintz is not a murderer,” Balcom said, describing his defendant as “kind,” “awkward,” and somewhat of a “nerd.” Balcom said Heintz would take the stand later on in the trial. Heintz remains in custody without bail.