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Jurors Return Guilty Verdicts In Clifton 'Hello, Friend' Roommate Stabbing

Jose M. Tepancalt Tepale
Jose M. Tepancalt Tepale Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR

PATERSON, N.J. – “Hello, friend,” a Clifton man told his roommate before stabbing him in the gut and leaving him for dead, jurors in Paterson found.

Only swift medical attention saved the victim’s life after he was attacked around 1:30 a.m. of Jan. 10 last year by Jose M. Tepancalt Tepale, the jury agree after a weeklong trial.

Tepale faces up to 20 years in state prison – 17 years of which he must serve – when he is sentenced April 21 for convictions for attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons possession, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said.

He would also have to remain on parole for five years, she said.

Tepale fled after the Center Street apartment stabbing bu was arrested soon after.

A doctor who treated the victim at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center testified during the trial that the wounds would have been fatal without medical intervention.

Assistant Prosecutor Aedan M. Neary prosecuted Tepale.

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