For Immediate Release - October 21, 2013

Beverly Man Sentenced to 15-20 Years In Stabbing Death

Sajan Christensen, 20, was sentenced to 15-20 years in state prison by Judge Howard Whitehead today in Salem Superior Court.  An Essex County Superior Court jury found Christensen guilty of voluntary manslaughter on October 11th for stabbing James Vernazzaro, 26, to death on March 17, 2011 in Beverly.  

“Justice was served today with this sentence,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.  “This defendant, along with his friend, viciously attacked an unarmed man and left him to die.  While no sentence can return James to the Vernazzaro family, I hope that this sentence provides them with some comfort.”

Essex Assistant District Attorneys Kristen Buxton and John Brennan recommended a 15-20 year sentence due to the “grave and serious nature of this crime.”  In her sentencing argument, ADA Buxton stated that the defendant “set upon an unarmed man and viciously attacked him over nothing more than words.”  Buxton further stated that her sentencing recommendation reflected the need to punish the defendant for his crime and also “to protect the community from this angry and lethally dangerous young man.”

Christensen was represented by Attorney Ray Buso and will receive 948 days of credit toward his sentence.