UCLA Chem Lab Stabber Pleads Not Guilty

Damon Thompson pleaded not guilty to premeditated attempted murder on a fellow student in UCLA's chemistry lab...

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UCLA student Damon Thompson has pleaded not guilty to premeditated attempted murder following what appears to be an unprovoked attack on a female student in the lab.

What he has yet to explain is why he, according to several eye witnesses, had a concealed, six-inch knife on his person and why he felt compelled to plunge said knife into this unidentified student's body five times. From the AP:

Los Angeles police Detective Alan Behnke said authorities were unable to determine a motive or whether the victim had been chosen at random. The woman, whose name was not released, was in good condition after spending time in intensive care.

Behnke said Thompson was cooperative but declined to speak to police about the incident.

The attack was deemed premeditated because Thompson allegedly brought the knife to the lab, but authorities had not determined how detailed his plans were.

"He hasn't clarified what his motive was," Behnke said.

Several people witnessed the attack, and a teaching assistant and a professor were able to stanch the blood flow by applying pressure to the victim's neck.

Witnesses told police Thompson walked calmly into a student information office and told a staff member he had stabbed someone.

Thompson's bail was increased from $1 million to $3 million during his arraignment Tuesday. A call to his public defender, Robin Berkovitz, was not immediately returned.

Police found the knife at the scene of the incident - a lab on the top floor of a building in the heart of the university on the west side of Los Angeles. Behnke said the attack lasted about 15 seconds, with the woman stabbed three times in an arm and hand and once each in the back and neck. Thompson and the victim had no known relationship other than working in the same class.