Friday, February 10, 2012

Newton, NJ: Nutley man sentenced to 30 years in girlfriend's stabbing death

NEWTON — To hear Alexander Antoniades tell it, he stabbed his to girlfriend to death in 2009 because he loved her and wanted to rescue her from her longtime struggle with drug addiction.

The 51-year-old Nutley man also claimed Angela Bellifemini wanted to be killed and he carried out her wishes in an effort to save her soul; if she had killed herself, as she had been contemplating, it would have prevented her from gaining entry into heaven, he said.

Although he tried to take his own life after killing Bellifemini by drinking a drug-laced apple juice drink, allegedly prepared by the woman, the drink wasn’t potent enough.

“First of all I want to apologize, but I did it out of love for Angela … I was scared for her salvation,” said Antoniades, reading today from a three-page handwritten letter during his two-hour sentencing hearing in Newton before Superior Court Judge N. Peter Conforti.

“I couldn’t stand to see Angela suffer anymore. I hope this clarifies why I did what I did,” said Antoniades, who claimed he and his victim were both “using hard drugs a lot” in the months leading to the killing on March 13, 2009.

Antoniades admitted killing Bellifemini by stabbing her twice in the neck with a kitchen knife in her apartment on Spring Street in Newton. He pleaded guilty in September to first-degree aggravated manslaughter, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Antoniades was arrested two days later after he called police to report that he had found her body when he stopped by her apartment for a visit. Traces of crack cocaine and a pipe used to smoke the drug were found in his car during a subsequent search by police.

Conforti, who sentenced Antoniades to the maximum allowable prison term, rejected the defendant’s assertions, saying Antoniades’ “perverted” logic may in part be attributable to his longtime addiction to heroin and cocaine.

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