A man was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison for fatally stabbing his wife more than 70 times in front of their teenage son. The incident took place in the family’s apartment in New Jersey in 2017.

The 61-year-old man, Jose Morel, was found guilty of brutally murdering his 38-year-old wife, Milagros Rodriguez de Morel.

He attacked the wife for allegedly having an affair with another man on Oct. 18, 2017. She was pronounced dead at the scene after sustaining multiple stab wounds. Morel told authorities that he suspected his wife of cheating and described the murder as a "crime of passion".

Morel pursued an insanity defense at his trial where his lawyers claimed he was in a "dissociative trance" and therefore, wasn’t responsible for his actions. He was charged with 40 years of prison life for murder, followed by a consecutive sentence of 10 years for child endangerment by Hudson Country Judge, Mitzy Galis-Menendez.

The victim’s son, who was 15 years old at the time, had tried to stop the attack and said Morel first stabbed his mother in the back in the couple’s bedroom, before dragging her out of the apartment.

In a letter that was read out by Hudson Country Assistant Prosecutor Leo Rinaldi, the now 17-year-old boy said, "I feel like he basically took my life along with hers that night because mine will never be the same.”

“... Nothing will bring back my mom or return the life he destroyed, but the very least knowing that he will pay for both of our lives with the rest of his life will afford me some peace and comfort,” the boy added.

According to the No Early Release Act, a criminal statute in New Jersey, Morel must serve at least 85 % of his total jail term, meaning that he will be eligible for parole only after 34 years.

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