Women sentenced with assault charge, released

A 25-year-old woman connected to a throat slashing was sentenced Thursday in Kenai Superior Court after accepting a plea deal in February.


Ayanna Nelson was charged with first-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault. By accepting the plea agreement, Nelson’s first-degree murder charge was dropped, and she was convicted of a lesser charge of third-degree assault, a Class C felony.

She was sentenced to four years in jail with three years suspended and three years probation and was released from custody Thursday night.

“I just want to say that I’m sorry,” Nelson said as she cried during the hearing. “... I’m really ashamed of myself. ... I’m very sorry to the people that I’ve hurt.”

On Sept. 6, 2012, Nelson allegedly conspired with her friend Dianna Steger to “scare” Edward Matthews with a knife assault, according to Alaska State Trooper investigating documents.

The documents allege Nelson and Steger had been drinking, and, after a disagreement, lured Matthews into a car at Joey Trailer Court in Sterling.

Nelson, who was hiding under laundry bags in the backseat, allegedly grabbed Matthews as the three were driving to the laundromat and cut his neck with a knife three times. The longest cut was nearly 4.5 inches in length, according to records.

In the document, troopers reported Nelson said she was trying to protect Steger from Matthews, who were living together at the time of the incident.

Steger was originally charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault and violating conditions of release. She accepted a plea deal dismissing the attempted murder and violation charges and was sentenced in February.

“The knife is in your hand, not (Steger’s) hand,” Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman said during Nelson’s sentencing. “The initiating event, the knife to Matthews’ throat is your conduct not her’s.

“... When they say that you are lucky that you’re not spending your 20s and into your 30s in jail, that’s absolutely correct.”

Nelson, who has no prior criminal history, was sentenced to abide by both general and special conditions to her probation including anger management counseling, which she has been attending while in custody. Those sessions will not count toward the special conditions of her probation.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.