Suspect in Fort Myers stabbing sentenced to 15 years in prison
Fox 4 News Staff
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Relief for the assailant and the victim. That's the reaction from friends and family. A plea bargain for a mild mannered, computer consultant who says he doesn't remember a thing from the night that changed his life forever.
Defense attorneys say John Maatsch, 33, suffered a psychotic break. He was sentenced to prison on Monday for attacking his neighbor, Tracey Marazzi, as she cried knowing this ordeal is finally over.
"[She's] a very strong woman," described a friend of Marazzi's, who didn't want to share her name. "To face what happened to her in court and to face the actual guy that did that to her. Very strong.
The day after Christmas, police were called to the Paseo community in Fort Myers to investigate a stabbing. They found Marazzi with a collapsed lung, almost lifeless. Five days later, detectives found Marazzi's blood on Maatsch's clothing after he appeared at the crime scene wearing a woman's blouse.
"What was their relationship?" asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann to Tyler Lovejoy, the lead prosecutor in the case. "We know of none," he replied. "They were complete strangers. I believe if he could, he'd tell you that himself."
Prosecutors say despite mounting criminal evidence against Maatsch, his decision to cop a plea was best for the victim.
"I know that ms Marazzi was consoled by the fact that she would not have to sit in court and live this again," added Lovejoy.
The charge was reduced to attempted second degree murder and burglary and Maatsch was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
"We're satisfied with the result," said Scott Moorey, the defense attorney. "This is something we've been working on for a while he was looking at two life sentences and to resolve the case with 15 years is bittersweet."
At the end of the hearing, Marazzi chose not to make a statement. But Fox 4 was the only camera rolling as Marazzi and friends left satisfied and in solidarity.
"[She's] a very strong woman," reaffirmed Marazzi's friend.
Maatsch's sentence includes 10 years probation, for which he faces life in prison if he violates those terms. He has 30 days to file an appeal.