YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A man sentenced Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for stabbing his roommate to death said there was not really much to say.

“The pain and suffering I’ve brought upon his family, an apology can’t really erase that,” Gerald McMannis, 62, told Judge R. Scott Krichbaum just before he was sentenced to 12 to 16 and a half years in prison. “All I can say is I’m sorry.” McMannis sighed and continued, “and that’s all I can do.”

McMannis pleaded guilty in March to a charge of voluntary manslaughter and grand theft for the Nov. 17 stabbing death of Joseph Catullo, 50, who was stabbed to death in a home on Lesher Road in Beaver Township.

Police said Catullo was stabbed during a fight with McMannis. McMannis also took the victim’s truck and fled to Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He was arrested a few days after Catullo’s death by Poland Township Police and Pennsylvania State Troopers just over the state line in Poland Township.

Family members said Catullo’s death hit their small, tight-knit family, that came to the United States from Europe as refugees following World War II, hard.

An aunt of Catullo’s said she still remembers how joyful the day was when he was born.

“It was a moment the whole family rejoiced,” she said. “This was somebody we loved. And you took him from us.”

An uncle of the victim told Judge Krichbaum said he thinks McMannis deserves the maximum sentence. He said it was hard to fathom how he could stab his nephew 19 times.

“The man was not satisfied until Joey was dead, the uncle said. “I don’t understand that.”

Assistant Prosecutor Michael Rich recommended the sentence McMannis received, which is the maximum. Rich said he explained to family members that the facts of the case supported a manslaughter charge, but he understands why they would be upset he did not plead guilty to murder.

Defense attorney Mark Lavelle asked for a lesser sentence than what Rich was recommending. Lavelle said the two argued over money MCMannis claimed he was owed that Catullo instead used to buy drugs.

The stabbing culminated from a day-long argument and when McMannis went to leave, Catullo knocked him down and they began fighting. Lavelle said rage overtook his client and he started stabbing Catullo.

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“He (McMannis)kept [stabbing] until he stopped,” Lavelle said his client told him. “It should have been charged as a manslaughter from the beginning.”

Judge Krichbaum said fight or no fight, McMannis was responsible for Catullo’s death.