UKIAH, 6/30/23 — Leslie Alan Adelman, 71, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday for voluntary manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of James Robert Anderegg last year near South State Street in Ukiah. Prosecutors say he will serve at least nine years and six months, meaning Adelman will be in his eighties when eligible for release in the early 2030s.
Police were initially dispatched to a report of a property dispute in a parking lot just south of the stoplight at East Gobbi Street around 10 a.m. Sunday, March 27, 2022. By the time officers arrived, the confrontation had escalated into a stabbing. Police said Adelman was holding a knife, and Anderegg collapsed. He was pronounced dead at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley hospital.
Prosecutors say Adelman had been living out of his truck near the offices of the Mendocino County Department of Social Services at 737 S. State Street when Anderegg stole a box of spices from the vehicle, which led to the fight. Both men were homeless at the time, and the Ukiah Daily Journal reported that Anderegg had been arrested on suspicion of robbery earlier that month.
Adelman was arrested at the scene, charged with murder and held on $550,000 bail. Roughly two weeks later on April 14, 2022, he refused to come out of his cell for arraignment, telling deputies that he had not yet seen his attorney — but jail visitation records later confirmed that a public defender had met with him at least once.
A preliminary hearing occurred in September 2022, and Adelman was held to answer, but the case never went to trial. According to his local court records, he’d been charged with felonies on at least two prior occasions, including resisting arrest in September 2019 and arson in November 2017. The records from his 2019 case state that Adelman was sentenced to probation until January 2023.