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WOMAN GETS 24 YEARS TO LIFE FOR FATAL STABBING

A tearful but argumentative Tracy Smothers was sentenced Wednesday to 24 years to life for stabbing a woman during a knife-wielding confrontation with another woman.

Erie County Judge Timothy J. Drury imposed the near-maximum sentence on Smothers' second-degree murder conviction in the death of Yasmin Ranger outside Smothers' Glenwood Avenue home.

Ranger, 26, was stabbed as she approached Smothers from behind after Smothers and another woman slashed the tires and smashed the windows of each other's cars on Aug. 25, 2003, in an argument over a man.

Smothers, jailed for the past year, apologized for the "accident in the name of Jesus."

Drury said Ranger, who was acting as a peacemaker, "never had a chance" and was stabbed only because "she was handy to you."

Robert J. Cutting, Smothers' attorney, said the conviction will be appealed.

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