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Arroyo Grande man pleads no contest to torturing foster mother

Matthew Ehens.jpg
Posted at 4:46 PM, Aug 25, 2021

An Arroyo Grande man is facing 8 years-to-life behind bars after pleading no contest to torturing his foster mother.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office says Matthew Leroy Ehens, 38, entered the plea Wednesday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court to felony charges of torture and elder abuse.

The DA’s Office says during an argument on Aug. 2, 2019, Ehrens poured a pot of boiling peanut oil on his 79-year-old foster mother’s upper body and face, causing serious burn injuries to 17 percent of her body, before stabbing her in the back with a large kitchen knife.

Ehrens then took off in his car and a high-speed chase with law enforcement began, ending with the suspect being taken into custody after crashing, according to the DA’s Office.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 20.

The victim was reportedly hospitalized for a month.