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Man sentenced to life in prison

EUGENE — A homeless man with a lengthy criminal record has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a Eugene woman.

Vyacheslav Stefanskiy, 26, apologized to relatives of Marissa Nevills at Wednesday's sentencing, but could offer no explanation for why he stabbed her 22 times last June, The Register-Guard reported.

"I really don't know why it happened," Stefanskiy said.

Lane County Assistant District Attorney Steve Morgan said Stefanskiy was apparently high on methamphetamine when he went to Nevills' apartment to steal a television. Nevills wouldn't let the stranger in, and the prosecutor said that led the Stefanskiy to "freak out."

Lane County Judge Karsten Rasmussen appeared to have tears in his eyes as spoke about the case.

"This was a senseless, I think inexplicable, and evil act," Rasmussen said. "The loss here is frankly, really just almost inconceivable. It is certainly immeasurable."

Stefanskiy had been arrested in May on charges that included heroin possession and theft. He pleaded guilty June 20 and was released from custody after receiving credit for time already served in jail.

Three days later, prosecutors said, he killed the 34-year-old Nevills. The two shared a mutual acquaintance, but had never met, the prosecutor said.

Several of the victim's family members, all wearing T-shirts emblazoned with Nevills' photo, spoke in court. They characterized her as a big-hearted, loving woman who kept a positive outlook on life despite some personal challenges.

Her father, Monte Nevills, said his daughter "made a difference in this world by being here" and said he hopes that Stefanskiy lives a tortured, "miserable existence, until he burns in hell."

Stefanskiy must serve at least 25 years of his life sentence before he can apply for parole.