Man Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder in Fatal Stabbing of Girlfriend
An Erie man on trial for killing his girlfriend was found guilty of all charges, including first-degree murder, Wednesday afternoon.
Police charged James Gilbert, 25, with the stabbing death of Mindy Matasowski, who was his girlfriend and the mother of his child.
The jury also convicted Gilbert of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and possession of an instrument of crime.
Mindy suffered 27 stab wounds in August 2018 at the home of her mother, Kimberly Lobaugh.
Lobaugh testified this week she heard Mindy scream from another part of the home and found her bleeding.
She said Gilbert admitted to the stabbing then stabbed himself.
Gilbert took the stand in his own defense during his trial this week. He did not deny he stabbed Mindy but testified tainted marijuana triggered a psychotic episode.
However, the jury agreed with the prosecution it was a case of premeditated murder after 1.5 hours of deliberations.
"We're pleased with the verdict," said Jack Daneri, Erie County District Attorney. "It's certainly not a joyful situation, but it was justice. We're glad that the jury saw the evidence for what it was - a premeditated killing - and we're happy for the family."
Lobaugh also told Erie News Now she is grateful the jury came back with the guilty verdict
"It doesn't bring Miranda back, but at least we know justice was served," said Lobaugh. "Miranda was a wonderful mom. She was a wonderful daughter. I'm going to miss her forever."
Gilbert faces life behind bars when he is sentenced Dec. 20 at 9 a.m.