Man gets life for Jeff City stabbing death

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 | 12:04 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A Jefferson City man was sentenced to life in prison for the May 2006 stabbing death of a woman he had lived with.

Peter Merlati pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing Debbie Kolb at her home. Cole County Judge Pat Joyce sentenced Merlati to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder and 25 years for armed criminal action.

The 40-year-old Merlati entered the plea at a scheduled status hearing in Joyce's court Tuesday. After a series of delays in getting the case to trial, it had been scheduled to begin in December.

Merlati answered "yes" when Joyce asked him if he stabbed Kolb to death.

A probable cause statement said that after his arrest in St. Louis, Merlati confessed to police that he got into an argument with Kolb and stabbed her while she begged for her life.


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