Rhode Island man gets life sentence in fatal stabbing

March 8, 2022 GMT

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man has been sentenced to life in prison in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend’s new romantic partner, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Nelson Dearce, 54, of Westerly, was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest to second-degree murder and domestic assault with a dangerous weapon in the January 2018 death of Jeremy Lehmann, according to a statement from the office of state Attorney General Peter Neronha.

Dearce had seperated from his longtime partner and the mother of his four children, but continued to live in the same home with her, prosecutors said.

While the two continued to live together, the woman began a romantic relationship with Lehmann, of East Lyme, Connecticut, authorities said.

On the day of the killing, Dearce returned home early from work, found Lehmann in the home, cornered him in a bathroom, and used a knife to stab and slash the victim 57 times, prosecutors said. The victim was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Dearce’s trial in May 2021 ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Prosecutors had intended to try the case again.