A young Mystic man was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for stabbing a 14-year-old boy after an argument over the youth taking away his girlfriend.
New London Superior Court Judge Patrick Clifford sentenced Joseph Lamarche, 22, of 11 Bern Court in Mystic, to eight years in prison with time suspended after 18 months – which means he will spend 18 months in jail – followed by three years of probation for the stabbing.
Lamarche pleaded guilty on July 25 to first-degree assault in the Aug. 27, 2011 attack.
Prosecutor David Smith said Lamarche was upset because the victim, his friend, had started dating his girlfriend.
Smith said Lamarche brought a knife with them, told the victim, “You stole my girlfriend. I’m probably going to regret this,” and then stabbed him.
The 14-year-old ended up with a 3-and-a-half inch wound to the chest and had to ultimately be taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Clifford said, “The victim came home, collapsed on the deck and the family thought he was going to die.”
Clifford said the case was difficult, because Lamarche looks younger than he is, and doesn’t fit the picture of someone who could commit a violent crime.
But he said the crime was violent, and society demands punishment. "...You just can't stab someone in the chest, causing serious injuries and just get a slap on the wrist," Clifford said.
Betrayal and Regret
Lamarche told the court he felt his friend had betrayed him. He said the day of the stabbing was the worst of his life. He apologized to the victim’s family and said he accepted that he was going to jail.
“If I could just hit the reset button on my life, I would just go back and undo that day,” he said. “I did a very bad thing, but that is not who I am.”
Lamarche graduated from Grasso Technical High School in Groton in the automotive department and worked at Precision Motors at the time of the crime. He was being treated for epilepsy and a seizure disorder, but his lawyer said he was not being treated for a mental disorder he had.
Family members in the courtroom wept quietly after the sentencing was read.
George Lamarche, Joseph Lamarche’s father, said his son wasn’t a straight A student, but he worked hard and he had been proud of him and still was.
He added that he’s been disappointed with the medical care his son has received and said people with mental illness have been jumping off bridges and in front of trains.
There have been several recent public suicides in Groton.