Man sentenced to prison in 2005 stabbing

February 07, 2007|By DON AINES


Juan Fernando Arana-Ramos, who was convicted of a Christmas Day 2005 stabbing in Chambersburg, was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to eight to 20 years in state prison.

Arana-Ramos, 22, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty Nov. 9, 2006, to stabbing Jacobo Blanco of Chambersburg in the throat.

"Some acts are so heinous they deserve serious sanctions," Assistant District Attorney John Lisko told Judge Richard Walsh, asking for a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Lisko noted the seriousness of the wound to Blanco, who was 31 at the time of the stabbing.

Defense attorney Fred Lester asked for a minimum sentence of 7 1/2 years, at the low end of the standard range.


"He has been victimized since he was a small child by men," Lester said, noting a psychiatric evaluation in which Arana-Ramos stated he had been beaten by his father, molested by one uncle and became hooked on drugs because of another uncle.

Lester said his client was aware of his actions when the assault occurred, but that he was also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, focusing "all of the rage and all of the aggression" he felt at Blanco.

Walsh read from statements Arana-Ramos made to police and in the psychiatric evaluation.

"We were drinking at my brother's house ... but Jacobo Blanco kept bothering me," Walsh read. "I stabbed him and left on the bicycle. He was trying to seduce me."

Shortly after 7 p.m. on Dec. 25, 2005, Chambersburg police received a 911 call reporting a man staggering in the street near the intersection of Loudon and Federal streets, according to court records. When police arrived, they found Blanco lying on a sidewalk bleeding from the throat.

Police later were called to the Broad Street home of Arana-Ramos' brother-in-law, who told police that Arana-Ramos came into the house "covered with blood."

Arana-Ramos and Blanco were alone at 364 W. Loudon St. after his brother and a woman had gone out to get beer shortly before the assault, police said.

"My life has been extremely, extremely hard up to now," Arana-Ramos said to Walsh through an interpreter. "I hope you treat me as if I were your son," he told Walsh.

Walsh said Arana-Ramos has behaved well in Franklin County Prison for more than 13 months and that he had no prior criminal record.

The judge said no one would disagree that the stabbing was a heinous act, but Arana-Ramo's personal history of being sexually victimized was taken into account in deciding his sentence.

"People are, in fact, tormented by these things," Walsh said.

Blanco was not present in court Wednesday and had not returned a victim impact statement to the court, Lisko said.

Arana-Ramos was ordered to pay $34,537.02 in restitution to the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Compensation Fund for Blanco's medical bills.

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