Man sentenced to 18 years in stabbing death of man found under railroad bridge


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BURLINGTON, Vermont — A Vermont man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his neighbor.

Daniel Whalon had pleaded guilty in April in the 2011 death of 54-year-old Ralph Bell near a railroad bridge.

Police affidavits say the two men were tenants of the same apartment house.

Through tears, the 29-year-old Whalon apologized to the Bell family in court Thursday.

The Burlington Free Press reports ( before sentencing, the judge acknowledged Whalon had had a difficult childhood, which included a sexual assault at age 4 and being in the custody of the Department for Children and Families until age 18. The judge said although these experiences might partially explain why the murder occurred, they do not excuse the act of violence.

Information from: The Burlington Free Press,

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