Defendant in heroin-related attack picks rehab after mother's death

Redwood City man pleaded 'no contest' to charges in beating, stabbing

A man who pleaded no contest to charges stemming from the beating and stabbing of a heroin dealer in East Palo Alto was sentenced Thursday to one year in jail.

In San Mateo County Superior Court on Thursday, Zachary Padgett told the judge the recent death of his mother, who was a drug addict, was an eye-opener. He is now in a drug treatment program, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Padgett, 26, of Redwood City, drove to East Palo Alto with his mother and her boyfriend, 59-year-old John Epperson, on May 9 to purchase heroin. The drug deal went bad after they discovered the $20 buy was bunk, not heroin, and the trio drove back to Clarke Avenue to confront the dealer.

Epperson allegedly told Padgett to give him a knife. Both men allegedly approached the victim, kicking and punching him. Epperson allegedly stabbed the drug dealer twice in the abdomen. The dealer pulled out his own knife and chased the men, cutting Epperson's hand, according to the District Attorney's office.

The dealer, with his intestines protruding, was rushed to a hospital and survived his injuries after surgery. Police captured the trio three hours later when they allegedly returned to buy more drugs.

Padgett pleaded no contest to one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon. Judge Donald Ayoob sentenced him to one year in county jail, three years of supervised probation and no contact with Epperson. He will continue to participate in a drug treatment program. Padgett has served 341 days in jail and has 24 days remaining, Wagstaffe said.

Epperson remains in custody on $10 million bail. His jury trial is scheduled for Dec. 11.


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1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Yes Donald Trump, there really is an opioid epidemic across the USA, and especially in white suburban neighborhoods

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Midtown

on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 28, 2017 at 9:25 am

One year? He only received one year in jail? Ridiculous.

2 people like this
Posted by SuperD
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 30, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Zachary, I hope that you get the help you need to beat your addiction. The judge took it easy on you and offered you another chance. Don't waste it.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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