BROOKLYN — A 44-year-old man from Philadelphia has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for brutally stabbing and killing a Brooklyn man inside his apartment during a drug-fueled sexual encounter.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “This defendant engaged in risky and dangerous behavior that culminated with a senseless killing of an innocent man. Today’s sentence holds him accountable for his deadly actions and I hope it will provide some solace to the victim’s loved ones.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as David Haigh, 44, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was sentenced today to 12 years in prison and five years’ post release supervision by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice. The defendant was convicted in December 2018 of first-degree manslaughter following a jury trial.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, in April 2017, after he connected with the victim, 41-year-old James Johnson, on a dating app, the defendant was at the victim’s Fort Greene apartment for a weekend of sex and drugs. After about 30 hours with no sleep, the evidence showed, the defendant became paranoid and locked himself and the victim inside the apartment.
The two men then engaged in a physical altercation during which the defendant stabbed the victim 22 times about his body using multiple knives, killing him on April 9 at about 6 a.m., according to the evidence. The defendant suffered minor injuries that are consistent with the victim trying to defend himself. Evidence showed that the defendant had a history of using methamphetamine, a drug he consumed before the killing, which has a propensity to cause paranoia.
“I took a life, a horrible fact that I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life,” Haigh said in court.
“It was never my intention to take his life. My only intent was not to let him take mine. I simply had no other choice. I will live with this guilt for the rest of this life.”
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Bureau Chief.