by Victor Lopez
GLASSCOCK COUNTY--The guilty verdict came back in a few hours and the sentence in less than one.
"I'm no killer," Rodney Mason said, as he was escorted to the Glasscock County Jail moments after a 5 man, 7 woman jury, sentenced him to life in prison.
Mason was found guilty for the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Timothy Sanchez in March.
According to autopsy reports, Sanchez had been stabbed more than 40 times. His body was found about 12 miles south of Stanton on Highway 137.
Mason says he acted in self defense. The jury didn't agree.
While they say they are pleased with the outcome of the trial, it is a bitter sweet moment for the Sanchez family. "I feel sorry his (Mason) family. They are going through pain, like we are. But at least they get to see and talk to him. I never get to see or talk to my husband again," Deborah Sosa, said.
Mason had two previous felony convictions in New Mexico. District Attorney Hardy Wilkerson says he's pleased with the verdict and praised the efforts of law enforcement in this case.
Defeense attorney Steve Stallings says, while he respects the jury's decision, he is disappointed in the verdict and is planning to appeal.