An argument over a stolen gaming handheld last May led to a fatal stabbing, a guilty plea, and a sentence to five and a half years in state prison today in New Jersey. The victim’s mother is outraged.
John Rosa, 23, of Paterson, pleaded guilty in December to the homicide, described as “passion-provocation manslaughter” under New Jersey law. Thursday, he was sentenced to 66 months in prison.
The facts of the killing describe a dispute over a Game Boy. Rosa admitted that on May 2, he got in a fight with Devone McCrary over a Game Boy stolen from a party several weeks before. He stabbed McCrary in the chest with a knife; the victim had been handed a screwdriver by a friend as the dispute escalated.
A grand jury declined to indict Rosa on a murder charge, opting for the manslaughter count instead. Prosecutors, noting that Rosa may have won an acquittal on a murder charge had that gone to trial, were satisfied with the guilty plea and the sentence. Not McCrary’s mother, however.
“I want you to think real hard about what you took away from me, over a video game,” she shouted at Rosa. “I hope you suffer.”
McCrary was killed six days before his birthday.
Paterson man gets 5 1/2 years for killing over stolen Game Boy [The (Bergen, N.J.) Record]