Crime • Defendant's lawyer claims his client was acting in self-defense.
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A Murray man has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of murder in connection with his girlfriend's death last year.
Daniel Jay Folsom, 50, beat his longtime girlfriend, 45-year-old Alicia Sherman, causing a fatal head injury, according to testimony at a hearing Tuesday in 3rd District Court.
A neighbor testified Sherman's face was bloodied and swollen when he found her on his front porch the night of Dec. 16, 2011.
"Dan did this," the neighbor testified Sherman said. "He's out of control."
When Murray police arrived at the home where Folsom and Sherman lived, near 600 West and Spacerama Drive (5685 South), Folsom had reddish-brown stains on his clothes.
"He stated he had eaten a hamburger," Officer Dale Rodeback said.
At the police station, Folsom said he did not know why he had been arrested and told a detective that he could not remember what he had done that night after drinking at a friend's house.
The friend testified that he and Folsom drank five or six Bud Lights apiece and split nearly an entire liter of cheap Canadian whiskey that night. More than five hours later, Folsom's blood-alcohol content was .09, above the legal limit for driving, and his attorney said it might have been closer to .22 at the time of the fight.
Defense attorney Robert Breeze on Tuesday argued that Folsom should not be facing a charge of murder, but rather a manslaughter charge.
"There's just no evidence on intent," Breeze argued in court.
Judge Judith Atherton disagreed, ordered Folsom to stand trial on the first-degree felony murder charge. An arraignment hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 7.
A paramedic said Sherman was awake and alert when medical responders arrived. But by the time the ambulance got to the hospital, Sherman was snoring and unresponsive. Doctors preformed surgery to reduce swelling in her brain, but Sherman's mother made the decision four days later to take her off life support. A medical examiner said Sherman died from multiple blunt force injuries to her head.
Breeze has disputed claims of how badly the woman was beaten and has said Folsom was acting in self-defense.
"He was highly intoxicated, sitting on his couch and he was attacked," Breeze told a judge in January while unsuccessfully arguing for a reduction in his client's $1 million bail. "We believe he was bitten on his nose at which point he came out of his stupor and landed five strikes."
Sherman's friends have said it wasn't the first time Folsom had attacked Sherman.
"He's beat her so many times," Annette Winward said outside of court in January. "He said he would quit drinking. So she came back to him and this was the result cold-blooded murder."