Fatal stabbing of girlfriend sends man to prison for life without parole

Defendant, 27, blames blackout caused by heavy drinking for reason he doesn't know why he killed 39-year-old woman.
TNS Regional News
Sep 28, 2013

 

Blaming a blackout caused by heavy drinking, Jerry A. DeLong says he doesn’t know why he stabbed his girlfriend, killing her, in their University District apartment.

“By the time I regained consciousness, there was no way to reverse what I had done,” he said in a statement read yesterday by his attorney, Karen Phipps, in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

DeLong, 27, received the mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years after pleading guilty to murder in the death of 39-year-old Leslie Manner.

Police visited 2261 Indiana Ave. twice early on the morning of April 15. The first visit came after Manner called to report that her boyfriend had “come home drunk” and was throwing trash around their bedroom. Officers found no evidence of violence and persuaded DeLong to leave.

About a half-hour later, at 2:08 a.m., the couple’s next-door neighbor called 911 to report hearing “a horrifying screech.”

DeLong, covered in blood, answered the door for officers, who found Manner on the floor, Assistant County Prosecutor Megan Jewett said.

“I killed her and tried to kill myself,” he told them.

Manner had knife wounds on both sides of her neck, Jewett said. Officers found a knife on the couch. DeLong spent six days in a hospital recovering from self-inflicted wounds before he was arrested.

“I loved Leslie very much and wish that I had died instead of her,” he said in the written statement. “I would gladly give my own life to bring Leslie back and cannot begin to express how regretful I feel about what happened.”

DeLong wrote that he and Manner were “supposed to be married,” but a friend who worked with Manner at Nationwide told Judge Colleen O’Donnell that there were no marriage plans and the relationship was about to end.

DeLong was quiet and showed no emotion during the hearing.

Members of Manner’s family attended the hearing but chose not to speak.

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By John Futty - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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