By Neha Malhi
RIVERSIDE, CA – Albert Marchain, 29, was convicted here in Riverside County Superior Court this week of murdering Stanislaw Tokarski, his landlord, nearly three years ago on Nov 12, 2018, stabbing him several times in the heart, back, and neck with three different weapons.
His defense attorney adamantly maintained that it was a case of self-defense.
According to the defendant, he was hired by Tokarski to work in the backyard, and he agreed to work as he wanted to earn some extra cash to treat his girlfriend. On Nov 12, 2018, he entered Tokarski’s property to ask about whether his lost ID and social security card there.
Marchain said he lost these two documents while working in the backyard. However, things, he said, took a bad turn, said the defendant, as Tokarski started getting angry for no reason and started yelling at him to get out of his property.
Marchain said he didn’t want to argue and felt threatened, so he started to leave. However, before he reached the front door he felt a pain in the back of his head, and out of fear he hit Tokarski in the face.
He claimed that he felt his life was in danger, so he grabbed a knife and hit the victim several times in his back. After that Tokarski staggered toward the kitchen, Marchain grabbed another knife from the kitchen, which was bigger in size, and stabbed it in the victim’s heart.
Still not feeling safe, Marchain grabbed the box cutter and slit Tokarski’s throat. After stabbing him several times, he felt panicked, confused and fled the scene. He was captured by police one day later in the desert where he trekked for nearly 10 miles.
In his confession to police, he admitted stabbing his landlord several times but later denied that, claiming he was high on drugs and didn’t know what was happening and is not clear about the situation.
The defendant’s attorney argued that it was the case of self-defense, that Marchain felt threatened by the attack by Tokarski and should be charged with involuntary manslaughter instead of first-degree murder.
However, Deputy District Attorney Gypsy Yeager, in his closing arguments, stated that “Mr. Tokarski died powerless, helpless and alone…. He couldn’t do anything about it. It was an ego thing. It was a pride thing and it was a respect thing.”
She argued that the defendant didn’t do it for self-defense, but because it made him feel powerful over the powerless 69-year-old Tokarski. She urged the jury to convict Marchain with first-degree murder.
Marchain faces up to 56 years to life in state prison.