Scott Ross, the Port Richmond man convicted in April of fatally slashing a friend's throat with a two-foot, double-bladed knife, was sentenced yesterday to 10 to 20 years in prison.
"I'm sorry for what I done," said Ross, 28, as he dissolved into sobs.
"I hope they forgive me. I didn't mean to do it."
During a July 2, 2008, fight in Ross' rented home on Gaul Street near Westmoreland, he used the knife on buddy Michael Zgrezepski, slashing his throat and stabbing both legs and an arm.
Zgrezepski, 21, bolted from the home and bled to death in Ross' driveway.
Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner, who found Ross guilty of third-degree murder and a gun possession charge after a nonjury trial, could have sentenced him to 22 1/2 to 45 years.
Lerner said that he did not believe that the killing was premeditated but rather was "situational," having grown out of the argument.
Lerner also cited Ross' criminal history of just one prior conviction as a reason for not imposing the maximum sentence.
In pressing her case for the maximum, Assistant District Attorney Christine Wechsler noted that the knife Ross used "to butcher that young man" was more akin to a sword, with long blades on both ends of a handle in the middle.
She also said that after Zgrezepski fell Ross stood over him shouting: "I hope you die, motherf-----!"
Defense attorney Jack McMahon said that Ross was rare among murder defendants in that he was employed at the time of the crime and that he had no juvenile record.