Jan 25, 2022

Missouri man sentence for 2017 fatal stabbing

Posted Jan 25, 2022 2:00 AM
Manuel photo Greene Co.
Manuel photo Greene Co.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man who fatally stabbed another man because he mistakenly thought the victim was part of a sex-trafficking ring has been sentenced to life in prison.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 39-year-old Christopher Manuel, of Republic, was sentenced Friday for the 2017 killing of Bill Dauzat. He waived the right to a jury, and Judge Calvin Holden found him guilty in November of second-degree murder and armed criminal action after a bench trial.

According to court documents, Manuel stabbed Dauzat at least seven times in September 2017 outside of Dauzat’s Springfield home. Manuel claimed that he was acting in self-defense, but Holden said there wasn’t enough evidence to support that argument.

Neither the prosecutor nor the defense got exactly what they wanted.

The prosecution unsuccessfully sought an additional 100-year sentence on top of the life term, saying Manuel had shown a lack of remorse. The prosecution played a jail call in which Manuel said that although what he did was wrong he would “do it again.”

Manuel’s attorney, meanwhile, asked for just an 18-year sentence, citing mental health problems, including PTSD from military service.

The mental health issues coupled with Manuel’s human trafficking delusion caused delays throughout the entire legal process.