A woman who stabbed her boyfriend to death outside her South Jersey home during a violent argument over a key two years ago has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.
Twenty-year-old Tamasa Nobles of Ventnor must serve 17 years of the sentence imposed Friday before she becomes eligible for parole.
Nobles initially was charged with murder in the December 2012 stabbing death of 20-year-old Devon Devine of Millville. But she pleaded guilty in April to aggravated manslaughter as part of a plea deal with Atlantic County prosecutors.
The Press of Atlantic City reports that the couple had a stormy domestic relationship. They say the stabbing along the 300 block of Wissahickon Avenue in Ventnor, N.J. occurred after the pair had a series of physical altercations over his refusal to give her a key.
Members of both families addressed the court prior to sentencing, the newspaper reported.
Devine's grandmother Deborah Keys-Frazier, who had raised him since he was a toddler, said that she is praying for Nobles to get help.
"He was a good man, a good boy,'' she said. "My heart aches. But honestly, in my heart, Tamasa, I forgive you."
Nobles' father, Larry Nobles, pleaded for leniency.
"It's two families that have found tragedy," he said. "There's nothing we can do to bring him back. Maybe we can help her out some."
After the sentence was handed down, Keys-Frazier found Nobles in the hall outside the courtroom. She held his hands, telling him through tears she believes his daughter would be forgiven.
"I know God, and God forgives everyone," she said.