Edward Hubbs fatally stabbed George Waddell Jr. last year during an argument over painkiller pills.
But Waddell’s sister told Hubbs at his sentencing Friday that she and her family are Christians and they have forgiven him for killing her 48-year-old brother.
“He wasn’t perfect, but he was our brother, and he mattered to us,” Shannon Waddell-Brown said.
“Two families have been hurt here, not just our family,” she added, referring to Hubbs’ wife and sister, who were in the courtroom.
“We forgive him. We don’t want our anger and hurt to take over our lives. God will be the final judge, and we hope he has mercy on Mr. Hubbs.”
State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia sentenced Hubbs to 25 years in prison for the fatal attack May 9 in Waddell’s Brewster Street apartment.
Paul M. Michalek Jr., Hubbs’ attorney, thanked the Waddell family for forgiving his client and agreeing to the guilty plea to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter.
Hubbs, a 43-year-old convicted felon, originally was charged with second-degree murder for stabbing Waddell during what Michalek described as an argument between the two friends over Lortab pills.
Michalek said Hubbs has expressed remorse for the killing.
Hubbs did not speak before Buscaglia sentenced him to the maximum prison term for manslaughter and ordered him to serve five years of post-release supervision.
The judge noted that Hubbs had been convicted of burglary in 2004 in West Palm Beach, Fla., and had served prison time in that case, followed by three other prison terms in Florida and Georgia.
He said Hubbs had described himself as a “pure alcoholic” in the pre-sentencing report.
“That is no excuse for what you did,” Buscaglia told him. “You took a single life, but you ruined many other lives.”
After sentencing, Hubbs appeared before Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruszka, who sentenced him to three more years in prison for punching a deputy in the face in June 2013 at the Holding Center, where he was serving a 15-day sentence for harassment.
The judge ordered the prison term to run consecutively to the manslaughter sentence.
Hubbs had pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in the attack on the deputy.