COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus murder suspect charged in a fatal stabbing has opted out of a trial and has accepted a plea deal from the District Attorney's Office.
Gregory Houston pled guilty to aggravated assault and voluntary manslaughter charges in the 2009 stabbing death of Rajneesh McPherson.
As part of the plea, Houston will serve 14 years in prison and another 20 years on probation.
Muscogee County Superior Court Chief Judge John Allen handed down the sentence Tuesday morning.
When officers arrived at a South Columbus home in December of 2009, they found the body of 24-year-old Rajneesh McPherson lying lifeless in the front yard. He had been stabbed six times in the head, ribs, shoulder and back. Witnesses quickly identified Gregory Houston as the suspect and he was taken into custody at the scene.
Earlier in the night, Columbus detectives say the men's girlfriends had gotten into an argument over sleeping arrangements for children that were staying in the Farwell Drive home, not far off Buena Vista Road.
Their boyfriends got involved and a verbal argument turned physical in the kitchen. That's when investigators say Houston grabbed a steak knife from the counter and started stabbing McPherson. One wound to the side of his head went into his skull.
When he was interrogated by police, Houston said he used the knife in self defense because he thought McPherson was going to punch him.
He admitted to investigators that he stabbed the victim three times during the fight.
Detectives testified a 10 and 11-year-old boy witnessed the brutal crime. One child told police the victim, his uncle, had turned to leave when he was stabbed.
Detectives also told the judge the men have a long history of arguing and not getting along and that both had been drinking at the time of the murder.