HARTFORD, Conn. — A former high school football captain was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Friday for fatally stabbing a man he had a sexual relationship with, and who provided him drugs and called him gay in an Internet posting.
Tarence “T.J.” Mitchell, 19, apologized to relatives of the victim, 27-year-old Ronald Taylor Jr., during the sentencing hearing in Hartford Superior Court.
“I just want to say sorry to the whole family,” said Mitchell, who pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter in October. “I didn’t plan for any of this to happen. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”
Taylor was killed in November 2013 in Bloomfield, where Mitchell was a high school football star.
Taylor’s family was upset with the plea bargain and expressed their dismay during the hearing.
“He stabbed him 19 times! That’s murder!” said Taylor’s mother, Jessie Logan. “Manslaughter? That young man needs to be in prison for the rest of his life.”
Mitchell told police that he and Taylor had a sexual relationship and that Taylor gave him marijuana and alcohol, according to court papers.
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Mitchell also said Taylor got jealous when he texted girls and threatened him with a sword, according to the court papers.
On the day of the killing, Taylor told Mitchell he was coming over, and Mitchell stuck a knife in his pocket in case he needed to protect himself, the papers said.
Mitchell said the attack began when Taylor struck him in the face; Mitchell then stabbed Taylor, the documents said.
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