Bay Area man pleads not guilty to slashing woman’s throat

A man charged with slashing a woman’s throat earlier this month in Vallejo faces a preliminary hearing in the coming days in Solano County Superior Court.

Official court records show that Jaylen Walker, 20, appeared for arraignment on June 12 in Department 4, Judge E. Bradley Nelson’s courtroom, in Fairfield.

The criminal complaint, filed by Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Flynn, accuses Walker of attempted murder, plus two enhancements: special allegations of great bodily injury and use of a deadly weapon, a box cutter.

Walker pleaded not guilty and denied the enhancements and allegations.

Nelson then scheduled a readiness conference at 9 a.m. Monday and a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday. He assigned the case to Department 15, Judge Robert Bowers’ courtroom, in the Justice Building in Vallejo.

During the hearing, Walker was represented by Deputy Public Defender Dustin W. Latka. Deputy District Attorney Judy Ann Ycasas represented the DA’s Office.

Nelson also referred the matter to the Solano County Probation Department for preparation of a pretrial services report, an account of information related the alleged crime and possible release-from-custody options

Court records show Vallejo police officers arrested Walker at 10 p.m. June 10 and booked into Solano County Jail in the early hours of June 11 on suspicion of attempted murder after the alleged throat-slashing that occurred at 3729 Sonoma Blvd. in Vallejo, where the art showroom Suite Treatments is housed.

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Video surveillance footage reportedly showed the victim of the attack, Adjoa McDonald, standing in the parking lot of the showroom with another person, talking to an adult male dressed in dark clothing, who is believed to be Walker. After a brief interaction, Walker could be seen lunging at McDonald, stabbing her in the throat.

Vallejo Police Department officials said that McDonald’s injuries were not considered life-threatening. However, she was taken to an intensive care unit at a local hospital for treatment.

McDonald, who is expected to make a full recovery, told The Reporter the crime has left her with more than her “impressive scar from ear to ear.” It has compelled her to reflect deeply on the complex and often overlooked issues facing the community’s youth.

“The attack on my life was a wake-up call — a stark reminder that our community must do more,” she wrote the Times-Herald newspaper earlier this week. “I urge leaders and other community-based organizations to reassess and expand their support systems. Let this incident be a catalyst for change, prompting us to address mental health issues head-on and ensure that no young person falls through the cracks.”

Walker remains in the Solano County Jail, with bail set at $75,000.

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