Trial proceedings are slated to begin today for a Riverside man accused of fatally slashing — and nearly beheading — his lifelong friend during a drug-fueled confrontation at the defendant’s family home.
Kevin Scott Mansfield could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted of the March 27 slaying of 31-year-old Joshua Michael Sebald.
Along with first-degree murder, Mansfield faces sentence-enhancing allegations of using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony and committing a crime while out on bail.
The two-strike felon is being held in lieu of $1.1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
On the night of the attack, the defendant and Sebald were drinking and taking drugs in the detached garage behind Mansfield’s mother’s house in the 5900 block of Birch Street, near Magnolia Elementary School, where he had been living, investigators said.
During an argument that broke out for reasons still unclear, Mansfield allegedly went after Sebald with a knife, inflicting fatal injuries.
He allegedly attempted to cut off Sebald’s head and was only inches away from finishing the job, possibly in an effort to dismember the body, when he stopped and walked out of the garage.
The defendant’s mother and sibling saw him leave and decided to check on Sebald, who was discovered dead on the floor.
Officers were summoned to the location and immediately began a search for Mansfield, who was found 20 minutes later and arrested without a struggle.
At the time of the attack, the defendant was out on bail after being arrested on suspicion of robbery, authorities said.
He has a prior felony conviction for a 2002 burglary that he committed with Sebald, who was also prosecuted.
The two men had known each other since middle school.