A man who stabbed a passenger on a Greyhound bus in the University City area was sentenced Wednesday to 17 years in prison, which includes a term for assaulting a prisoner in jail.
The injuries to both victims seemingly occurred spontaneously by Gilbert Louis Dominguez, 36, who pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon aboard a mass transit vehicle and felony assault of another inmate.
“Be cognizant of what sets you off,” said San Diego Superior Court Judge Polly Shamoon to Dominguez, who did not make a statement in court.
Dominguez stabbed Martin Hernandez, 27, on July 11, 2018 on a Greyhound bus at 12:30 p.m. while it was on Interstate 5 in University City near the Genesee exit.
The bus driver kicked both men off the bus and Hernandez was taken to a hospital for wounds that sliced his neck, both arms, and back. Dominguez did not know the man he stabbed, the prosecutor said.
Dominguez injured another prisoner who was gay and had animosity towards gay inmates, according to testimony in his preliminary hearing.
Deputy District Attorney Christy Bowles said the inmate had to receive seven staples in his head to close a wound and had broken teeth.
His attorney, Zaki Zehawi, said his client was on the Greyhound bus to go to Los Angeles so he could enter a treatment program.
“He was leaving everything to better himself,” said Zehawi. “He’s a smart man, a capable man.”
At a previous hearing, Dominguez’s brother said he had a deeply troubled childhood after their father was murdered in 1990. He said their mother was a heroin addict and “we were doomed from the start.”
Others testified Dominguez deserved another chance, with one person saying, “he’s not your average felon.”
Dominguez received nine years for the Greyhound bus stabbing, three years for the jail attack, and Shamoon added five years for his previous conviction of carjacking.
Bowles asked for a maximum sentence of 21 years and Zehawi asked for a lesser term. An attempted murder charge was dismissed in the bus stabbing.
The prosecutor said Dominguez did not know Hernandez. An attempted murder charge was dropped after the guilty pleas.