WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2016 death of a Connecticut man who was found in his car in the parking lot of a YMCA with a stab wound to the chest.
Jose Morales Jr., 25, of Worcester, was found guilty by a Superior Court jury on Monday, according to a statement from the office of Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.
The victim, Lee Daniels, 37, of Thompson, Connecticut, was found unresponsive in his car in the YMCA parking lot in Worcester, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The men had been in a confrontation before the stabbing after Daniels said something to Morales’ girlfriend, authorities said.
Morales’ attorney in opening statements said his client was afraid that Daniels was going to follow through on his threats to shoot him and acted out of fear, according to The Telegram & Gazette. Prosecutors said Daniels was unarmed.
Morales fled the area after the stabbing but was apprehended in New Jersey in October 2016.
Morales will be sentenced at a date to be determined. A second-degree murder conviction comes with a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.