Man sentenced to 33 years to life for stabbing two homeless people in Midway District, killing one

Court gavel

A man who stabbed two homeless people — one fatally — in separate Midway District attacks on Thanksgiving in 2019 was sentenced Feb. 8 to 33 years to life in state prison.

Forrest Robert Brantley, 40, pleaded guilty last year to charges of murder and attempted murder in the attacks.

Brantley admitted to fatally stabbing Robert Erbe, 55, in the neck at about 8 a.m. Nov. 28, 2019, outside a 7-Eleven store on Sports Arena Boulevard.

About six hours before Erbe’s slaying, Brantley stabbed another homeless man in the back and arm on Sports Arena Boulevard, according to Deputy District Attorney Will Hopkins.

San Diego removed 10 tons of debris from a Midway District encampment. Some thought the camp would be removed.

Hopkins said Brantley posted on social media days before the stabbings that he was going to “help the homeless,” though his true intention was to target homeless victims.

At Brantley’s sentencing hearing, the prosecutor said the defendant committed the attacks “with the sole motivation of seeing what it felt like to take a life.”

Brantley was arrested in Ventura about a week later when officers recognized him from fugitive alerts, according to Ventura police.

Before the San Diego attacks, Brantley had served time for a 2016 incident in Ventura in which he broke into a gift shop and stole two crucifixes, then struck several people with the crucifixes while walking the streets.


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