BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison without parole for fatally stabbing another man 77 times.
Jurors found David Roman, 52, guilty of first-degree murder in the 2015 death of Joseph Stanick.
Defense attorney Eduardo Masferrer said he and his client were “disappointed,” in the verdict and planned to appeal. According to trial testimony, Roman stabbed Stanick when he went over to the victim’s home in Southbridge for an arranged sexual encounter.
Masferrer said Stanick wanted to try something Roman was unwilling to do, and then attempted to assault Roman with a knife. Roman allegedly fought for possession of the knife and “fended him off,” while trying to leave Stanick’s home. Masferrer stressed that 76 of the 77 stab wounds were a quarter to a half-inch deep and were “described by both medical examiners as ‘superficial.'”
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One stab wound was 2 inches deep, cutting a vital artery and causing Stanick’s death.
Masferrer said he and his client believe this demonstrates that there was an altercation and that Stanick’s death was the result of “combat and excessive force in self-defense.” The defense had been seeking a conviction of manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Michael McHugh asked jurors to reject the “nonsensical self-defense claim,” before their decision.
Roman also was accused of stealing several items from Stanick’s home, including five gold rings, a tea set and signed celebrity photographs. He pleaded guilty to a charge of larceny of property valued at more than $250 before the murder trial began. His sentence of two to three years will be served concurrently with his life sentence.
“I hope this verdict provides Mr. Stanick’s family with a measure of justice,” said District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.