Norcross man sentenced to life in murder of 'drinking buddy'

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Marcus Dewayne Huff was found guilty of murder and given a life sentence Thursday, a Gwinnett County jury finding his male victim's alleged sexual advances a poor justification for a brutal stabbing death.

In February of 2010, Huff stabbed 42-year-old Daniel Aftowski -- a Duluth insurance rep described as his "drinking buddy" -- more than 30 times after he claimed the victim made a move on him and informed him of a drunken sexual encounter they had shared the previous Thanksgiving.

Defense attorney John Petrey argued this week that it was Aftowski that forced Huff into a sudden rage, asking for a conviction on voluntary manslaughter charges in lieu of murder. Thursday, it took a jury about four hours to find Huff guilty of the latter, Senior Assistant District Attorney John Warr said.

"Even if such a sexual advance occurred," Warr said, "it was not sufficient provocation to warrant such a violent and unreasonable reaction of stabbing Mr. Aftowski 34 times."

Judge Ronnie Batchelor sentenced Huff to life in prison.

Aftowski was discovered missing after he didn't show up for work on Feb. 5, 2010. The next week, police entered his Arbors at Breckenridge apartment and found his body on the bedroom floor, wrapped in a blanket and air mattresses. Bloody drag marks trailed back to the bathroom and kitchen.

Scuffling with the victim in his kitchen, Huff is believed to have used a knife from the nearby counter to murder his one-time friend.

One stab wound was so deep it broke Aftowski's clavicle and severed an artery, prosecutors said this week.