SAN DIEGO — A homeless man who fatally stabbed a Poway resident during an early morning fight outside at a 7-Eleven store was sentenced Friday to 12 years in state prison.
Kevin Miles Talbott, 31, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to voluntary manslaughter in the Jan. 14, 2018, death of Zubayr Phahez.
The victim’s wife, Guadalupe Cedillo, testified during a preliminary hearing last August that she and her 29-year-old husband had been to a party in Oceanside and were returning home to Poway when he pulled into the convenience store at Poway and Pomerado roads about 1:30 a.m. to get cigarettes.
Talbott — who was sitting on a wall separating the 7-Eleven from a parking lot — told Phahez to turn his lights off because they were bothering him, Cedillo testified.
Phahez obliged, but the defendant decided to say something else and the victim walked toward him, she said.
“He (Phahez) asked him, `What’s going on, brother?’ ” Cedillo testified.
She said Talbott grabbed her husband by the neck and shoulders, and Phahez pushed him off and Talbott fell to the ground.
Cedillo said her husband walked back to their car and told her he had been stabbed.
She said her husband tried to drive himself to the hospital, but he pulled over a short distance away on northbound Pomerado Road. He died later at a hospital.
“He (the victim) did nothing wrong,” Cedillo said at Friday’s sentencing. “We were in the wrong place. He (the victim) asked a person what was wrong with him. That’s how he lost his life.”
The victim’s cousin, Fatima Shakeri, told Judge Robert F. O’Neill that she is traumatized by the fact that Phahez died alone.
“We are not only grieving the loss of a person,” she said. “We’re grieving the loss of the past, present and future.”
Defense attorney Bart Sheela told the judge that the victim’s actions contributed to him being stabbed by Talbott.
But Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans said Phahez — a father of two young children — was stabbed by somebody “who simply approached him.”
Phahez was stabbed once in the head and once in the neck in just nine seconds, the prosecutor said.
“This crime was vicious, it’s violent,” Evans told the judge.
In a letter to the court, Talbott said he killed the victim in self- defense. He said he was just three days from moving to Texas and marrying his girlfriend from high school when he killed Phahez.
A sheriff’s homicide detective testified at the preliminary hearing that a folding knife was found in Talbott’s backpack, which was located in his girlfriend’s car across the street from the crime scene. Talbott’s mother was working across the street at a Chevron gas station and told her son to go in a back room and wash off blood that was on his face, shoulders and neck, the mother testified.
“He (Talbott) said he got jumped,” Laura Talbott testified.
Talbott’s girlfriend, Lori Graf-Edgett, who was also near the wall, testified that Phahez came at them in a rage.
“I yelled, don’t go over there,” Graf-Edgett testified.
She said she tried to stop Talbott from engaging Phahez. “I said, Don’t fight! Don’t go there! Stop! Stop!”