The Los Angeles man found guilty of the second-degree murder of USC student Bryan Frost was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison Thursday.
Travion Ford, 25, was convicted on Aug. 31 for fatally stabbing Frost, a 23-year-old cinema student, on Sept. 18 of last year.
The sentence came after an hour and a half-long hearing, which gave Frost’s friends and family a chance to speak before Ford made a brief statement.
“It was an emotional time for everyone,” said Deputy District Attorney Kennes Ma.
In his statement, Ford maintained that he only stabbed Frost to protect himself.
“He apologized to a certain degree, but what he continues to say is he’s not a murderer. He basically denies the jury’s decision,” Ma said.
The Sept. 18 altercation that led to Frost’s death began after Frost slammed shut an apartment complex gate as he was walking home from the 901 Bar & Grill with friends in the early morning.
Ford and Frost got into a verbal argument first, then began to throw punches and wrestle on the ground.
At one point, Ma told the jury during the trial, Frost pinned Ford to the ground and then got up to walk away. Ford then ran inside his mother’s apartment to grab a knife, which he used to stab Frost.
Ford’s attorney, Diane Butko, argued during the trial that Ford never went back into the apartment, and only stabbed Frost because he feared for his life.
Butko filed an appeal in the case, saying the trial judge excluded important evidence about Frost’s history of drinking, but Ma said the appeal was denied Thursday, and Frost’s family said he did not have any sort of drinking problem.
Ma said Judge George G. Lomeli did not have a lot of say in the sentencing and made no statement.
“This is what we expected,” Ma said.
The judge sentenced Ford to an extra year in prison for wielding a knife. In addition to the prison sentence, the judge ordered Ford to pay about $35,000 in restitution.