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Man sentenced to life in prison in stabbing

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Duluth man convicted May 19 of stabbing his 64-year-old neighbor to death was sentenced Friday to life in prison plus 45 years.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil handed down the sentence for Alvenio "Johnny" Culpepper, 35, in the brutal 2006 attack in which he stabbed Jenny Neville 22 times during a drug-induced rage.

Culpepper was convicted on all counts, including murder, felony murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a knife while committing a felony.

Culpepper, who lived in the downstairs unit of the Davenport Road duplex, fled Georgia after the killing in Neville's Toyota Corolla to Pennsylvania, where his brother lived. He was tracked down days later in a multi-agency manhunt.

Neville had recently retired as a bank auditor.

Police said Culpepper's mind was warped by drugs and that he robbed Neville for drug money.

He left a note at the scene, witnesses said during his trial, that read, "I never meant to hurt her." Culpepper's 13-year-old son had recently moved in with him so he could have a positive male role model, reports said.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Vandever said the last 20 years of Culpepper's sentence would be spent on probation if he were to be paroled.

"It's my understanding of the statute that he would get his first look at parole after 30 years," Vandever said.

It's unclear if Culpepper will file an appeal. His attorney, Richard Stepp, did not immediately return a voice mail left at his office Friday.