A Navy sailor who pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge for stabbing a man 42 times was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Columbia.
Collin Potter, 30, of Virginia, stabbed Vongell Lugo to death in Lugo’s apartment in the Upper Northwest neighborhood of Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2019, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Potter and Lugo, 36, met earlier in the night at a bar and went back to Lugo’s apartment. They were alone when Potter, unprovoked, grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed and cut Lugo 42 times in the head, neck and torso, prosecutors said. Lugo yelled for help and awoke two neighbors who called 911 around 4:14 a.m. About six minutes later, Potter pulled Lugo’s naked body out of the apartment and into the hallway.
“[Metropolitan Police Department] officers discovered Lugo’s body and the defendant, who was standing naked, uninjured, and covered in Lugo’s blood,” a press release said.
Police arrested Potter and he’s been in custody ever since. Potter pleaded guilty in February to second-degree murder while armed.
At the sentencing hearing, Potter said he was sorry, but acknowledged an apology would be insufficient and that he deserved prison, the Washington Post reported.
Potter’s attorney said his client’s history of childhood trauma, mental illness and alcohol abuse led to the attack, the Post reported.
Several of Lugo’s family and friends testified on his behalf at the sentencing hearing.
“There are no words to describe my feeling today,” Lugo’s mother, Victoria Lugo, told the judge, according to the Post. “Neither the dictionary nor Google have any words. My heart hurts. My son’s life was taken for a selfish reason. No mother should have to go through this.”
Lugo was born in Trinidad and Tobago and immigrated to America in 1994, his obituary said. After graduating high school in 2000, he attended the University of Maryland where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology, the obit said.
He worked in retail management and as an executive recruiter.
“He was a devoted fan of the Redskins with a sophisticated sense of style in both fashion and food – his curry was described with reverence,” the obit said.
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