On Thursday, Sam Safo was convicted of aggravated battery in connection with the July 3, 2016 crime at the Wesley Herrington apartments in unincorporated Lawrenceville, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said.
According to prosecutors, an eyewitness told responding police that the victim had an argument with Safo, and that during the argument, Safo “suddenly began stabbing the victim.”
“The eyewitness recorded the attack on his iPad, which showed the unarmed victim and Safo struggling when Safo began to violently stab the victim and bite his face,” prosecutors said. “Five days after the attack, Safo called the Gwinnett County Police Department to report that he was robbed at knife point on July 3 inside of his apartment. However, he declined to meet police in person, would not allow access to the crime scene and failed to mention that he stabbed anyone.”
A month after the stabbing, Safo was arrested in Maryland and extradited back to Georgia, prosecutors said.
At trial, Safo testified that he “feared for his life” but could not remember stabbing the victim. Under questioning by Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney Andrea Alabi, however, Safo “admitted that he invited the victim and witness into his apartment and that neither had a weapon,” prosecutors said.
The jury was also presented with “multiple” social media posts in which Safo threatened to murder the victim for reporting him to the police, in the days preceding the trial.
Safo was sentenced to 15 years, with six to be served in prison.