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Murder charge dropped against woman who stabbed attacker

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Prosecutors have dismissed a murder charge against a woman who investigators said was assaulted by the man she fatally stabbed in Southern California three years ago, according to a newspaper report Tuesday.

Amber Angelovic, 24, faced a felony count of murder and a possible sentencing enhancement for personal use of a weapon in the stabbing death of Derek Valentine in his Costa Mesa home in March 2017, the Los Angeles Times reported.

But Orange County prosecutors said this week that evidence discovered during the investigation revealed that Angelovic acted in self-defense. Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown appeared in court this week to ask a judge to dismiss the charge against Angelovic.

Brown said the motion to dismiss the case was “in the interest of justice.”

Angelovic’s defense attorney, John Barnett, told the Times his client is “very relieved that this ordeal is over.”

Angelovic and Valentine ended up at his home after a night of drinking at a local bar, prosecutors said.

Angelovic called 911 to report that Valentine, 32, tried to prevent her from leaving, hit her in the face and threw her to the ground.

Fearing for her safety, Angelovic said she grabbed a knife she carried with her for personal protection and engaged in a drill she learned in a self-defense class, prosecutors said.

Police found Valentine dead at the bottom of the stairs with stab wounds to his chest.

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