Wed, Jan. 22

Young woman killed in Cornville
Victim stabbed repeatedly

A young woman was killed in Cornville in what appears to be case of murder and attempted suicide. Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies were called to a small East Willow Drive home shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday evening when firefighters from Verde Valley Fire District found the 19-year-old girl had been stabbed repeatedly in her home.

The woman killed has been identified as Sherris Rose Winchester. A suspect in the stabbing is her boyfriend Jeremy Joseph Pompeneo, 21. He was found unconscious and is believed to have overdosed on drugs.

Winchester had been stabbed with what is being described as a personal knife. Preliminary reports did not specify the number of stab wounds. Susan Quayle, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, speculated the woman could have as many as 20 wounds to the chest, back and legs.

The Fire District responders did not know the true condition of the couple until they arrived at the home. But medics had been called to the same home recently when the woman was taken to the hospital and suspected it may not be a routine EMS call.

Pompeneo was originally taken to Verde Valley Medical Center and then flown to the Flagstaff Medical Center where he remained in a coma on Wednesday morning. Sheriff's investigators say he is expected to live and the hospital describes his condition as "stable." It's unclear how he overdosed, but Quayle said investigators found a lot of prescription medications in the house. It has not been reported whether illegal drugs were also found in the house.

The two young people lived in a small guesthouse on the Cornville property with two homes. The main house is about 50 feet away from the smaller structure. Pompeneo's mother had talked with her son, who told her they would be up for dinner in 20 minutes. When they did not arrive as expected, the woman went to investigate and found the woman stabbed and her son unconscious.

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