Man sentenced in fatal stabbing case

MARQUETTE — The case of a 21 year-old man who was stabbed to death while he was sleeping came to a close Monday in Marquette County Circuit Court. Twenty-four year old Derek Blemke showed nothing but remorse for his actions.

“Brandon never deserved it. Brandon was a good guy. If there was any way that I could give my life so that Brandon could live today, I would gladly do it,” said Blemke.

Earlier this year, Blemke entered a no-contest plea to a second degree murder charge. Blemke was arrested after fatally stabbing 21 year-old Brandon LaFavre while he slept in his home on the 200 block of Wright Street last June.

His lawyer fought for the minimum sentence of 13 and a half to 20 years, saying Blemke was a “productive member of society” with no previous criminal record or history of mental illness.

“Fueled by alcohol, in a complete black out state that he was in at the time, and taking the life of another person, it just doesn’t seem like the Derek Blemke that his friends and family, those who know him, could be possible,” said defense lawyer Karl Numinen.

LaFavre’s friends and family, however, fought for the opposite, begging the court for the maximum sentence.

“Although I’ll never be able to let my son go, I would, however, like to feel that his life meant something,” said Larry LaFavre, the victim’s father.

While Marquette County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi acknowledged that Blemke maintained a remorseful attitude throughout the proceedings, it still wasn’t enough to hand down the minimum recommended sentence.

“There isn’t a number that reflects the depth of loss here. The justice system, however, has an obligation to set numbers as a means of sentencing with the recognition of various factors including effect that this has had on the victim, the characteristics of Mr. Blemke as an offender and the characteristics of this offense,” said Mazzuchi.

Blemke will serve 20 to 40 years in jail, with credit for time served.