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April 25, 2016

Man who stabbed firefighters on EMS call gets 23 years

SAN DIEGO — A man who stabbed two San Diego firefighters as they tried to render aid to an intoxicated person was sentenced to 23 years in state prison. reported that Ryan Allen Jones, 35, was convicted last month of attempted voluntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon and battery for the attack last June. Judge Jeffrey Fraser refused to strike two prior "strikes" on Jones' record: a 2002 conviction for robbery and a 2008 conviction for battery on a police officer.

Jones pulled out a knife and intended to kill firefighters Benjamin Vernon and Alex Wallbrett, Judge Fraser said. Vernon was stabbed twice and suffered a punctured lung. Wallbrett was stabbed multiple times.

Jones, who expressed his sorrow that the firefighters were hurt, said he acted out of fear, according to the report.

Vernon said the incident has changed his life.

"How I function around patients, my sleep schedule has been different, I am struggling with PTSD," he said. "I do have a harder time helping people who need help. If there's a bystander nearby, I get a little more nervous. Yeah, he's changed me."