Man sentenced for knife attack

Calvert County Courthouse

A St. Leonard man was sentenced Monday to 35 years in prison in connection with a late April domestic assault in which his live-in girlfriend was stabbed multiple times.

Circuit Court Judge Mark Chandlee suspended all but 12 years of the sentence he gave defendant Nicholas Gervosio Magtutu, 27, who has remained incarcerated on a no-bond status since his arrest shortly after the incident. A four-count indictment was handed down in late May and late last year Magtutu entered guilty pleas to two counts — attempted second-degree murder and committing a crime of violence with a minor present.

In a statement of facts read into the record at Magtutu’s plea hearing, Calvert County Interim State’s Attorney Jennifer Morton (R) stated that deputies who responded to in the incident found the 28-year-old female victim “had puncture wounds and lacerations on both of her hands, a large laceration to her right arm, a puncture wound to her upper right chest and a puncture wound to the back of her neck.”

The victim told police that she had been sleeping inside the residence when the defendant awakened her. Magtutu, according to the court statement, “was upset by some messages he viewed on her [victim’s] phone, which he interpreted to mean that she was cheating on him. She tried to reason with Magtutu and calm him down but to no avail. Magtutu took her phone and destroyed it against a table.”

The defendant gathered and destroyed other phones in the home.

Morton stated at the hearing that the prolonged incident was “horrific attack on the victim” during which she sought safety in several of the home’s rooms. Despite severe injuries, the victim managed to escape the residence, fleeing to a neighbor’s home and contacting police. According to the statement of facts, the victim asked Magtutu if she could smoke a cigarette before he killed her. “Magtutu then gave the victim a cigarette and a lighter and told her to enjoy her last cigarette,” Morton stated. “The victim opened the kitchen door to the outside because they don’t smoke in the house and took that opportunity to run to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor then let her in and called the police.”

“He [Magtutu] did that in front of his own son and two other children,” said Morton, who added the children witnessed the attack and hid under a blanket in one of the rooms. She added the children were “cowering under the blanket” while the assault was in progress.

The victim was not present in the courtroom during sentencing. “She did not wish to be present,” said Morton. “She wants to move on with her life. The harm to the victim was great. It’s not just physical harm but traumatic, emotional wounds.”

In addition to inflecting the stab wounds, the defendant is alleged to have told the victim, “you’re going to die.”

“He knows he did wrong,” said defense attorney John M. McKenna of his client’s actions. McKenna told the court Magtutu had consumed a great deal of alcohol and was experiencing psychological issues, which fueled the attack. “He was dead drunk when this incident took place,” McKenna said. “He was depressed, suicidal and hearing voices at the time.”

McKenna stated that Magtutu had no criminal record and “is a very good father and a great worker.”

“You presented a night of terror to that victim,” Chandlee told Magtutu. “This wasn’t just someone who lost his temper. I believe that the victim and those children thought she was going to be killed that night. You could have been found guilty of a more serious charge. You treated this woman worse than a piece of property.”

Chandlee stated that he would recommend Magtutu serve his sentence at Patuxent Institution where he can receive help for his mental health issues. The defendant was also give five years of supervised probation after his release.“There’s no reason for you to have contact with the victim,” Chandlee told Magtutu. “That relationship was toxic.”The judge told Magtutu to also refrain from referencing the incident on social media, reminding him that the court system does keep track of such things. McKenna asked Chandlee if Magtutu could be allowed to attend his grandfather’s funeral this week. “I’m sorry for your loss,” Chandlee said to the defendant, adding his regret that he couldn’t honor the request.

The judge said he would allow Magtutu to call his grandmother to offer personal condolences from the detention center.

Twitter: @CalRecMARTY