Man pleads guilty to Mother’s Day murder

Yuland Stanfield (left) breaks down in court while being arraigned on a first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend Christine Santurri (right).

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend two years ago pleaded guilty to the murder on Wednesday.

Yuland Stanfield apologized in court for Christine Santurri’s death.

“It haunts me every day that I did kill somebody,” he said, “and I am just so sorry that I took a life.”

Empty words to Judge Sarah Taft-Carter, who sentenced Stanfield to life in prison.

“Although you accept responsibility for the crimes by entering your plea of guilty today, and although you agree to the maximum penalty under the law, this court finds your apology and your actions without sincerity,” she said.

Santurri, a mother of three, was stabbed outside her apartment in the Riverside section of East Providence on Mother’s Day 2015. She later died at Rhode Island Hospital.

East Providence police said Santurri came to them just two days before she was attacked, saying that Stanfield had violated a restraining order and feared he would harm her.

Santurri’s family was in court for Stanfield’s plea and sentencing.

“Never in my life would I think I would be waking up on Mother’s Day to my mom screaming my name for help,” said the victim’s daughter, Shanelle Santurri. “Never in my life would I think I would lose my mom this soon. On May 10, 2015 – two years ago – I lost the most important woman in my life.”

“You may have taken her physically from all of us who loved her, but you will never take away the memories we have of her, and her spirit will live forever,” added Santurri’s sister, Stephanie Rodrigues.

The judge also sentenced Stanfield to two 10-year terms, which will be served concurrently with his life sentence.