Matthew Leroy Ehens convicted of pouring boiling oil on his 79-year-old foster mother before stabbing her in the back with a kitchen knife
Author: District Attorney
8/25/2021 4:14:18 PM
Matthew Leroy Ehens (38) of Arroyo Grande pleaded no contest in court today to charges of torture and elder abuse against his 79-year-old foster mother after he poured boiling peanut oil on her and stabbed her in the back with a large kitchen knife during an argument.
District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that Matthew Leroy Ehens (DOB 10/11/1982) was convicted by a plea of no contest in court this morning to felony charges of torture and elder abuse of his 79-year-old foster mother.
On August 2, 2019, during an argument with his foster mother at their home in Arroyo Grande, Ehens poured a pot of boiling peanut oil on her upper body and face. He then stabbed her in the back with a large kitchen knife before fleeing in his car and eventually engaging in a high-speed chase with law enforcement until Ehens crashed his vehicle and was arrested.
The 79-year-old victim suffered serious burn injuries over 17% of her body and received extensive medical treatment, including hospitalization for a month and a skin grafting operation.
“The victim is a courageous survivor of a horrible crime inflicted on her by a person whom she raised,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “Our community will not tolerate elder abuse. I encourage those who suffer from or witness elder abuse to report these crimes to law enforcement.”
Sentencing is scheduled for September 20, 2021, at 8:30 am in Department 1 of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, the Honorable Jacquelyn H. Duffy presiding. Ehens is facing a sentence of 8 years-to-life in state prison.
The case was investigated by the Arroyo Grande Police Department and the San Luis Obispo County Sherriff’s Office with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kristin Barnard, with substantial support from the District Attorney’s Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center.
For information and resources on elder abuse, please click here for our Victim Witness Assistance Center webpage.
Click here to view a copy of the charging document. Click here to view a copy of the defendant’s booking photo.
Please contact Assistant District Attorney Eric J. Dobroth at 805.781.5819 with any questions.
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