- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A man convicted of third-degree murder in the stabbing death of a friend in eastern Pennsylvania has been sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Lehigh County Judge William Ford imposed the term Monday on 28-year-old Petro Rodriguez in the November 2013 stabbing death of 29-year-old Robert Brandon in Allentown.

The judge called Rodriguez “a dangerous man” and said the sentence - the maximum allowed for third-degree murder - was intended to send a message.

Jurors in January rejected a self-defense argument, siding with prosecutors who argued that Rodriguez was upset about items stolen when Brandon and other helped him to move.

The victim’s mother wept as she told the judge about the impact of her son’s murder, saying “As soon as I say his name, I get upset.”

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