MURRIETA – A Nov. 21 trial date was confirmed today for a probationer accused of stabbing a Lake Elsinore man in the heart without provocation and nearly killing him.
Matthew Scott Skyberg, 27, could face life in prison with the possibility of parole if convicted of attempted murder and sentence-enhancing allegations of inflicting great bodily injury and using a weapon in the commission of a felony in the July 23 attack.
During a status hearing before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Johnson, Skyberg’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Marty Miller, and Deputy District Attorney Tim Cross indicated they were prepared to go to trial later this month.
According to sheriff’s investigators, the defendant and a 19-year-old man, whose identity has not been released, were at a house party in the 33000 block of Garner Road in Lakeland Village when an argument ensued.
Skyberg became ”aggressive” when the victim tried to get away from him and followed the young man outside and around the corner of the house, where he allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed him multiple times — including once in the heart, Cross said.
”The guy is lucky to be alive,” the prosecutor said. ”He told me that doctors had to resuscitate him twice on the operating table.”
Skyberg fled from the location and remained at large for two days before finally surrendering peacefully to deputies.
The victim underwent surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Redlands and spent weeks recuperating.
According to Cross, the young man’s condition remains sensitive.
”If he died as a result of this, we would definitely explore charging the defendant with murder at that time, even if he’s convicted of the attempted murder,” Cross said.
Skyberg, who has prior misdemeanor convictions for spousal abuse and vandalism, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.