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Attacker of UC Berkeley student pleads guilty to premeditated attempted murder

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OCTOBER 27, 2013

UC Berkeley sophomore Grant Richman set a tray of cupcakes on the roof of his car one night during winter break two years ago. Moments later, he was bludgeoned in the head.

The events of that night, along with those of the next two and a half weeks, are completely missing from Richman’s memory.

“Evidently, I was carrying cupcakes,” he said. “I don’t remember that, though. I got out of my car, texted my friend to wake up, waited a few minutes — and nothing.”

After pausing, he added, “Then I woke up in a hospital in the middle of January.”

Upon waking from his coma, Richman learned he had been beaten nearly to death just after midnight outside of his friend’s house in the College Area of San Diego after a string of other crimes that began in the afternoon of Dec. 27, 2011.

One of the two men accused of injuring Richman that night, 22-year-old David White, pleaded guilty Thursday to premeditated attempted murder.

White faces 17 or more years in prison, in addition to an extra five years and eight months, said Tanya Sierra, public affairs officer for the San Diego district attorney’s office, in an email.

The other man, 28-year-old Terrence Jarvis, pleaded not guilty to charges including attempted premeditated murder, robbery and battery, according to Sierra.

White’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21, and Jarvis’ trial is scheduled for Dec. 2.

“I didn’t research too much about them,” Richman said about his alleged attackers. “It wasn’t helpful for me to dwell on this too much.”

During White’s hearing Thursday, San Diego Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lawson said Richman was “viciously and savagely beaten” and “left to die in a pool of his own blood,” according to ABC 10 News.

Richman’s father told his daughter Tess that he didn’t think her brother would live, Richman recalled. The doctors agreed.

“Then the prognosis went up, going from ‘you might die’ to ‘you might be a vegetable’ to ‘you might not go back to school’ — and here I am,” Richman said.

After two weeks of intensive care, Richman was moved from San Diego to a hospital in Northridge, closer to where his family lives. He was discharged in February 2012 and began extended outpatient care.

“I wanted to go back to school,” he said, adding that the possibility of not returning to UC Berkeley was “horrible.”

When August came, Richman’s family decided he was at last well enough to return to UC Berkeley for the fall semester. Now a declared political science major and a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, Richman doesn’t like to dwell on the assault.

“I’m just glad to be back in the swing of things,” he said. “I feel lucky.”

Contact Savannah Luschei at 


OCTOBER 28, 2013