A 20-year-old man charged in a fatal September stabbing was sentenced to 60 years for murder Thursday morning in Allen Superior Court.
The charge against Melvin Sanders, 20, of the 200 block of Woodland Avenue, stemmed from an incident Sept. 11 when, according to court documents, Eric Robinson, 23, was fatally stabbed during a fight allegedly with Sanders and Theopulus Gordon, 37, of the 100 block of Blue Cliff Place.
According to the court documents, the three men allegedly had an argument in an apartment that spilled outside, where things turned physical. Fort Wayne Police Department obtained footage from a video camera at the apartment complex that allegedly showed Sanders lifting his shirt to reveal a knife to Gordon and a woman. Sanders then allegedly placed an index finger over his mouth as if to indicate to Gordon not to say anything about the knife, according to the court records.
The documents go on to say that Gordon allegedly said he had seen Sanders with the knife stashed in the front of his pants while inside the apartment. Gordon also allegedly said he tried to break up the fight, but a neighbor said she saw three male subjects pushing each other and arguing around the rear door of the building. The witness allegedly said both subjects were fighting with the victim. She said at one point the fight appeared to have stopped but then the subject in the red shirt, later identified as Gordon, got involved in a second attack. According to the neighbor, Sanders allegedly stood back and encouraged him. When Robinson fell to the ground, Gordon allegedly ran away, but later returned and acted as if he had just walked up and found the victim injured, according to court documents.
Robinson was taken to a hospital in critical condition with five stab wounds, including injuries to his heart and lungs. Robinson later died from his wounds.
In court Thursday morning, Sanders apologized to Judge Fran Gull and the court for what he had done, telling them he was not a murderer.
Although Gull said she had appreciated the way Sanders had accepted the blame for the killing, his previous record and the circumstances that occurred during the fight could not be ignored.
Sanders will be filing an appeal on the sentencing.