Defense attorney says fatal attack was self-defense
Court • Judge denies Daniel Jay Folsom's request for bail reduction in death of girlfriend.
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A man accused of beating his girlfriend to death last month saw his request for a reduction in bail denied Friday despite his attorney's claims that he had acted in self-defense.

Daniel Jay Folsom, 49, remains behind bars in the Salt Lake County jail with bail set at more than $1 million in connection with the death of 45-year-old Alicia Sherman.

"He's a very upstanding citizen," defense attorney Robert Breeze told 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton. "He doesn't have anywhere to run."

But in a letter to the court, Sherman's mother called Folsom "dangerous" and said she believed he could retaliate against her family if released.

Sherman died late last month after spending four days on life support. According to the charges, Folsom attacked the woman, causing the brain damage that ultimately resulted in her death.

Before she lost consciousness, Sherman escaped to a neighbor's home and said her boyfriend was hitting her and was "out of control," the charges state.

Breeze disputed claims of how badly the woman was beaten and said Folsom was acting in self-defense.

"He was highly intoxicated, sitting on his couch and he was attacked," Breeze said. "We believe he was bitten on his nose at which point he came out of his stupor and landed five strikes."

Outside the courtroom, Sherman's friends held photographs of the woman and recalled seeing her in the hospital, covered in bruises, with broken hands and broken ribs.

It wasn't the first time Folsom had attacked Sherman, they said.

"He's beat her so many times," Annette Winward said. "He said he would quit drinking. So she came back to him and this was the result — cold-blooded murder."

Folsom is scheduled to next appear in court on March 5 for a preliminary hearing on his first-degree felony charge of murder.

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk