‘Let's Fight To The Death,’ Says Wyoming Woman Before Allegedly Stabbing Idaho Man

A Wyoming woman texted her ex-boyfriend in Idaho "let's fight to the death" before she allegedly stabbed him in the head with a pair of scissors while he slept. She's charged with attempted first-degree murder.

CM
Clair McFarland

October 06, 20238 min read

Luna Nicoya Phaedra Serrano
Luna Nicoya Phaedra Serrano (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Accused of sneaking into her ex-boyfriend’s cabin and stabbing him in the head and body with scissors as he slept, a woman recently of Bondurant, Wyoming, now faces a potential 40-year sentence in an Idaho prison.  

Luna Nicoya Phaedra Serrano, 48, is charged with three felonies in Teton County, Idaho, from an alleged stabbing attack on her sleeping ex-boyfriend that happened sometime after she reportedly texted him, “Let’s fight to the death.”  

The incident started Monday at about 11 p.m., when a Teton County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a cabin in Victor, Idaho, to a call of two people fighting.  

The woman who called sheriff’s deputies said she’d been sleeping, but had to run outside and was hiding under a truck. She was calling from the phone of Derek Hawkes, whose number the deputy recognized from “prior law enforcement contacts,” says an evidentiary affidavit filed in the case.  

‘They’re Over There’

The deputy went straight to Hawkes’ cabin and talked with Manju Alexander, whom he also recognized from prior contacts. Alexander was crying and panicking, saying “they’re over there,” with a gesture toward the cabin.  

Another deputy led the way. He observed Hawkes wearing only underwear, holding down a woman who was fully dressed in two jackets (the outer jacket on backward) and a head lamp.  

The deputy commanded Hawkes to get off the woman, and Hawkes obeyed.  

The deputies handcuffed and detained Hawkes. But then they noticed that his neck was slashed and he was “bleeding significantly.” Deputies called for emergency medical personnel, says the affidavit.  

The woman, by then identified as Serrano, was splattered nearly everywhere with blood. Her eyes were wide, she breathed rapidly, wasn’t speaking, had a bump on her forehead and a bruise around her eye.  

Ex-Boyfriend Says … 

Hawkes told police that he was sleeping in his upstairs loft, where the high bed is accessible by a ladder.  

He woke to someone stabbing him in the head, the affidavit relates.  

But while Hawkes was describing the event, he paused to lie down saying, “I feel like I’m dying.” He added: “I hurt in my back, she f***ing pushed me all the way down off my top ladder.”  

Medical workers treated Hawkes.  

New Girlfriend Says …

Hawkes new girlfriend, Alexander, said she was sleeping downstairs in the cabin on the couch. She woke to the sound of Hawkes talking and became afraid that Serrano would harm her because she “sounded like a lunatic,” says the affidavit.  

Alexander ran outside and hid under Hawkes’ truck. 

Earlier that day, Hawkes had retrieved paperwork to apply for a restraining order against Serrano, says the affidavit. The paperwork sat on a desk in his home, not yet filled out, and deputies photographed it.  

Alexander claimed that Serrano had broken in a few nights earlier and stolen her phone. She also said that Serrano had texted Hawkes that she, Serrano, wanted to fight him “to the death.”  

All This Blood 

The deputy studied the cabin.  

He found three puddles of blood slightly congealed next to the couch. The living room floor was smeared with blood, indicating a struggle, and the couch had blood smears. A blanket bore “a significant amount of blood.” The dresser was smeared with blood. So was the bed in the loft, the affidavit says.  

The deputy found other blood smears and puddles. 

“I did not observe any blood spatter high up on any walls, indicating that the stab wounds sustained by Derek (Hawkes) occurred while Derek was at a low position,” reads the affidavit.  

Serrano had blood on her legs, jackets and head lamp, but no activelybleeding wounds, wrote the deputy.  

The deputy found a pair of yellow-handled scissors on the counter, caked with dried and wet blood, the affidavit alleges.  

Sneakin’ Up 

Serrano’s vehicle wasn’t at the cabin.  

Deputies later found it a little more than half a mile away.  

Hawkes’ neighbors approached the deputy while he was outside and told him there were previous disturbance at Hawkes’ cabin, but that the man had recently apologized for those, said he’d broken up with Serrano and that “she was crazy” and had held scissors to his ribs in the past, says the document.  

Medical staffers took Hawkes to the Teton Valley Hospital for his injuries. Alexander rode in the ambulance with him.  

Deputies arrested Serrano.  

Follow-Up 

In a follow-up interview, Hawkes said he’d been intimate with Serrano for about five weeks, but that relationship ended a week before the alleged stabbing attack.  

They’d known each other for 15 years, he added.  

Serrano “is currently homeless” because both Hawkes and his landlord had disallowed her from coming back to his cabin.  

They’ve had domestic fights in the past, he said. Hawkes said she stabbed him in the side with those same scissors Sept. 17, then locked him out of his cabin so that he warped the door trying to get back in —and now the door won’t shut and lock properly.  

On Monday night, Hawkes continued, Serrano stabbed him in the head and ribs, knocking the wind out of him, then she shoved him off his bed and out of the loft altogether, the affidavit relates.  

She then came down the ladder and kept stabbing him, at least five more times, Hawkes said.  

That was when he got on top of her and punched her repeatedly on the right side of her face, then held her down by the head until deputies arrived. He tried to reach into her pocket and press the emergency button her phone, but the phone was locked, the affidavit says.  

Hawkes claimed that Serrano snorts the Adderall she’s prescribed.  

He said she’s threatened to kill him in the past by growing the words, “I will murder you in your own house,” the affidavit says.  

Also, Marijuana 

Deputies deployed a K-9 drug dog at Serrano’s truck, and it alerted to marijuana. It was found to contain a bag of marijuana and a pipe, says the document.  

Serrano allegedly admitted that those were hers.  

Ex-Girlfriend Says … 

Serrano told deputies that she and Hawkes were dating and had been in Alcoholics Anonymous together. But they had issues when Hawkes started drinking again.  

She said she was coming to his house Monday night to return $100 he’d given her for gas and whiskey.  

She also claimed that Hawkes started punching her and she stabbed him in defense after they both fell from the loft.  

“After being confronted about the blood I located on the bed, Luna then claimed that she did not remember where nor when she got the scissors, and that maybe they were on the loft and she grabbed them from the loft after Derek hit her in the head,” the deputy wrote.  

Serrano admitted to having sent the text “Let’s fight to the death,” says the affidavit.  

These Injuries 

Hawkes had a stab wound on top of his head, a puncture wound to the back of his neck, a deep cut to his throat, a slash across the left side of his chest, several other cuts to his torso, a chunk out of his forearm and other injuries, says the affidavit.  

The deputy listed his conclusions about the case: that Serrano parked a half-mile from the cabin, crept up with a night lamp, grabbed the scissors, snuck into the loft, stabbed Hawkes and kicked him out of the loft and onto the kitchen counter.  

Idaho Penalties 

Serrano faces one count of aggravated battery, which is punishable in Idaho by 15 years in prison and $50,000 in fines, plus a count of burglary (between one and 10 years and $50,000 in fines) and attempted first-degree murder (15 years and $25,000). 

The prosecutor is proposing that if the attempted murder charge doesn’t fit, she may substitute that for another aggravated battery charge.  

Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter