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La Costa man sentenced for fatal attack on ex-girlfriend

CARLSBAD — A judge on July 12 sentenced a La Costa man to 26 years to life in prison for murdering his on-again, off-again girlfriend in her North County home last July.
Jonathan Scott French, 41, was convicted in May of the first-degree murder of 43-year-old Jennifer Stark, a popular North County court reporter. Stark’s teenage son found his mother with her throat slashed when he arrived home around 11:20 p.m. July 31, 2009.
French, a medical supplies salesman, testified during the trial that the slaying was a spontaneous fatal assault, and asked the jury to find him guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which carries a lighter prison sentence than first-degree murder. On the night of murder, French testified he snapped after he found a text message from another man in Stark’s cell phone as they talked at her Carlsbad home. Earlier in the evening, he said they had gone out for dinner and drinks.
In addition to the fatal cut to her throat, Stark had at least 13 superficial knife slices to her neck and suffered from bruising to her face and body from the attack, prosecutors said.