Two women charged in knife wounding of Sterling man

Casey Grove

A Sterling man bleeding from his neck escaped from his girlfriend and another woman, who sliced the man with a knife in a plot to scare him Thursday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Dianna Steger, 31, and Ayanna Nelson, 25, were behind bars Friday, both charged with attempted murder and assault. Troopers say Steger coaxed her boyfriend, Edward Matthews, into a car where Nelson was hiding with a knife. Nelson put the knife to Matthews' throat while Steger drove, and Matthews was cut in the ensuing struggle, according to a charging document.

The charges say Steger and Matthews had been fighting Wednesday night at the mobile home where they lived. Matthews left, stayed at a friend's house and returned hungry the next morning, according to the charges. He told a trooper later that Steger "blew up" on him again and that she and Nelson, who lived in another mobile home on their lot, accused him of stealing something from Steger.

Steger later sent Matthews text messages about doing laundry together and she came to pick him up, troopers said.

According to the charges, Matthews got in the passenger seat and Steger started driving. They were traveling 30 or 35 mph when Nelson, who was hiding under laundry bags, sprang out and grabbed Matthews' neck. At first he thought it was her nails digging into his flesh but he soon realized that she held a knife and thought she was trying to kill him, he told a trooper.

In an interview with the trooper later, Nelson said she was there to protect Steger from Matthews, who they believed had stolen something from Steger and who earlier refused to empty his pockets to prove he didn't have the item, she said.

Nelson said the women only intended to scare Matthews.

"I was supposed to wait till we got back to the house but I grabbed (him) too early," Nelson said, according to the charges.

Matthews was able to jump out of the car and run away. He suffered three "fairly significant" cuts to his neck and was treated at a hospital, troopers said in a dispatch posted online.

The women were found in the car not far away and arrested, troopers said.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.

Anchorage Daily News