PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- A northern New Jersey man who fatally stabbed his 85-year-old grandmother because she wouldn't give him drug money has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

The Record reports that Mark Dubas apologized in a Paterson courtroom Friday for killing Barbara Tyzbir in March 2011. He was found guilty by Judge Raymond Reddin of aggravated manslaughter after a non-jury trial last month.

Prosecutors say he stabbed his grandmother eight times and ransacked her home. They say he then left with her car and bought drugs.

His attorneys had argued that the fatal stabbing was aggravated manslaughter because the longtime drug user had a history of psychiatric problems. They say he was under the influence of heroin and the antidepressant Prozac.

He must serve 20 years before being eligible for parole.

 

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)