Man sentenced to 15 years for fatally stabbing stepfather

The stabbing victim Dean Vastartis (Source: Family)
The stabbing victim Dean Vastartis (Source: Family)
Courtney Heckman, (Source: WOIO)
Courtney Heckman, (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The man who stabbed his stepfather to death was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday morning for involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, and aggravated robbery charges.

(Warning: The video contains graphic language.)

Timothy Bene, 33, admitted in a County Court of Common Pleas courtroom last month to killing his 50-year-old stepfather, Dean Vastartis, on Feb. 3, 2017.

Police say Bene and Vastartis were having an argument inside Vastartis' home on Sprague Road in Strongsville when Bene stabbed him several times.

During the sentencing hearing, Bene's defense attorney played an audio recording that allegedly depicted the victim Dean verbally and profanely abusing the suspect's mother. The attorney said Dean was regularly drunk and abused both Bene and his mother.

The county prosecutor said that Bene stabbed Vastartis in the back.

"I think he's a coward for stabbing and murdering him in the back and Dean could not even defend himself," said Barbara Urmetz, a life-long friend of Vastartis.

In addition to the 15-year prison sentence, the judge also ordered that Bene serves 8 years of probation after release.

Bene's girlfriend, Courtney Heckman, is also charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the murder. She has a hearing Friday afternoon.

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