By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the stabbing death of another man.

A judge sentenced Adam Connors, 29, of Fall River, to three to five years in prison in the fatal stabbing of Joseph Reading, The Herald News reported Tuesday.

District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said it was an appropriate sentence because the stabbing victim initiated the “violent confrontation” that led to his death.

Conners and his friend Mark Costa visited a party at a Fall River apartment on Jan. 12, 2019, when Costa, 27, and Reading, 39, started fighting, according to court documents. Reading waved a knife in Costa’s direction before smashing a wooden crucifix over Costa’s head.

Conners, who had remained in the hallway, entered the apartment, picked up Reading’s knife and stabbed him three times in the back of the leg and cut an artery, according to the court filing.

Officers found Reading in the driver’s seat of his crashed vehicle, bleeding and unresponsive. He was taken to St. Anne’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A postmortem toxicology report showed Reading had benzodiazepines, cocaine and fentanyl in his system.

Conners turned himself into authorities the day after police announced he was wanted in connection with the stabbing.

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