A judge has sentenced a Haddam man who pleaded guilty to killing his friend in a jealous rage to 39 years in prison.

Authorities say 28-year-old Benjamin James stabbed 22-year-old Stefan Lasak 17 times in the neck, back and shoulders in April 2008 and dumped the body in a wooded area.

Police say James became enraged when he saw a picture of his stepson on Lasak’s cellphone and thought Lasak was after his wife. James and his wife were going through a divorce at the time.

Prosecutors called James’ suspicions “paranoid” and  fueled in part by alcohol consumption and drug use.

A tearful James apologized in court saying he behaved “like a monster.”


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