Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento man wanted in Gilroy stabbing of former mother-in-law

Justin Skannal, 36, of Sacramento, is wanted by Gilroy police for allegedly stabbing his former mother-in-law in an attack Tuesday night.
Justin Skannal, 36, of Sacramento, is wanted by Gilroy police for allegedly stabbing his former mother-in-law in an attack Tuesday night. Gilroy Police Department

A 36-year-old Sacramento man described by authorities as a gang member is wanted by Gilroy police on suspicion of breaking into his former mother-in-law’s home and stabbing her repeatedly.

Gilroy police announced Saturday night that a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Justin Skannal, a suspected Sacramento Crip gang member who also has ties to the Modesto and East Bay areas.

Police say Skannal forced his way into the Gilroy home of his 59-year-old former mother-in-law Tuesday night and demanded to know the location of his estranged wife.

“Skannal then forced his way into the victim’s bedroom and again demanded to know where his estranged wife was,” police said in a news release. “When she did not give him the information Skannal demanded, he began stabbing the victim multiple times as she was lying in her bed.

“The victim was able to push Skannal off of her, at which time he fled the residence.”

The victim suffered life-threatening wounds to her upper torso and was rushed into surgery at a San Jose hospital, police said.

Skannal is on parole “and has an extensive criminal history including a prior conviction for making criminal threats toward his estranged wife,” police said. At the time of Tuesday’s incident, Skannal was the subject of a protective order prohibiting him from contacting her, police said.

Police said Skannal is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached if seen. Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call Gilroy police at 408-846-0349.

Online Sacramento Superior Court records and Sacramento Bee archives indicate Skannal was charged with murder in 1996 when he was 16 for the shooting death of Marlin Martin, 29, in an incident in a Q Street apartment that left another man shot in the leg.

Bee archives and court records say Skannal pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in state prison.

Sam Stanton: 916-321-1091, @StantonSam

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