Photo of gavel and scales of justice.

50 Years-to-Life in Domestic Violence Case

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said today that defendant Arturo Ulloa, 43, has been sentenced to 50 years-to-life in prison for brutally attacking his girlfriend, strangling her and then stabbing her repeatedly. The sentence was handed down in San Diego Superior Court in Vista this afternoon. During a jury trial in January, Ulloa was found guilty of premeditated attempted murder, aggravated mayhem, attempted carjacking, and child endangerment. The defendant has 11 prior convictions for armed robbery. Deputy District Attorney Jessica Stehr prosecuted the case.

“This was a vicious crime, committed in front of the victim’s children,” said DA Stephan. “It’s incredible that she survived the attack and a testament to her resiliency and bravery that she was able to testify during the trial. Today, a measure of justice has been delivered.”

The victim was awakened at about 5:30 a.m. by the defendant who was strangling her. He stopped and then started strangling her again, this time for about two minutes. The victim tried to get away and defend herself, but Ulloa then began stabbing her with steak knives. He stabbed her more than 20 times using five different knives. Her children, ages 4 and 7, witnessed the attack and ran to a neighbor for help. After stabbing his girlfriend, the defendant fled and attempted to carjack a separate victim.

Strangulation is common in domestic violence incidents and law enforcement in San Diego County has a coordinated community response on how to handle such cases. Studies have shown that episodes of non-fatal strangulation have a greater likelihood of leading to homicide. The county’s Strangulation Protocol put into place a system of uniform detection, documentation and response so victims receive consistent treatment across the county. Since strangulation often does not leave obvious signs of injury, it is important for victims to report it and receive appropriate medical care.

Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, stalking, or financial abuse. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, frighten, terrorize, injure, or wound someone.

If you or someone you know is being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233. More resources can be found on the District Attorney’s website.

In addition, One Safe Place: The North County Family Justice Center provides free support services all under one roof to anyone who has experienced child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, hate crime, elder abuse, human trafficking, violent loss, family violence, or other abuse or victimization. For more information, visit