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Man sentenced to life in slaying of girlfriend amid breakup

December 21, 2019 GMT

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A man convicted of stabbing his girlfriend to death amid an impending breakup last year has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

James Gilbert, 25, read a statement of apology before he was sentenced Friday in Erie County Court, the Erie Times-News reported.

“I beat myself up every single day over what has happened,” he said.

Gilbert was convicted last month of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and possession of an instrument of crime. His attorney argued that the crime wasn’t premeditated, but prosecutors said he took a knife with him to the home intending to kill the victim.

Prosecutors said he stabbed 20-year-old Marinda Matasowski 27 times at her mother’s Millcreek home in August 2018 and then stabbed himself in the chest.

Gilbert said in court that he wanted to remember the good parts of their relationship, such as holidays and trips to the zoo with their young son. But her friend, Carly Blanks, said their relationship was deeply abusive and her friend “slowly started to fade away.”

Judge Joseph Walsh told the defendant that he had cheated his son “out of a lifetime of love and support from his mother.”