Killer Sentenced in Fatal Stabbing in Spat over Cigarettes


A pack of cigarettes, 29 stab wounds and a body underneath a bed.

These were the unlikely events leading to the Brooklyn murder trial of Joshua Simser, 26, who was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison on Thursday on charges of second-degree murder for repeatedly stabbing his friend Rufino Sanchez, 41, when the two got into an argument over a pack of cigarettes on April 15, 2014.

“I ask that you show no mercy to him as he showed no mercy to my brother,” said the victim’s sister Tahisha addressing the judge before the sentencing. “He is a monster an there is no explanation or justification to take another persons life.”

Simser’s defense attorney attempted to argue that the stabbing occurred in self-defense. Simser took the stand to testify on his own behalf, but could not convince the jurors that Sanchez had a knife. There were no wounds of any kind on Simser’s body, according to testimony, and only one knife was recovered from the scene.

Simser attempted to hide the body, wrapping it in plastic wrap and hiding it under his bed for four days. He even brought his infant son to the apartment when the body was under the bed. When the body began to rot, he moved it to a bin behind his house.

Simser’s employer, to whom Simser confessed, made the call to the police.

Simser declined to make a statement.

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