A judge showed sympathy for a northern New Jersey man who said he snapped watching the sexual abuse trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and killed his former Boy Scout leader for allegedly sexually abusing him.
Judge Thomas Chritchley apologized to Clark Fredericks as he sentenced the confessed killer to five years in prison for the 2012 stabbing death of Dennis Pegg, a Sussex County sheriff's officer and onetime scout leader. Fredericks will be eligible for parole in nine months when time he's already served in prison is taken into account.
Clark Fredericks admitted killing Pegg during an emotional court hearing in June.
"From the time I was 8 years old until I was 12, I was sexually assaulted and raped by Dennis Pegg," Fredericks said at the time.
He said he never told anyone about the rapes even as, he claimed, Pegg also raped his best friend Jeff. Jeff committed suicide in 1983, Fredericks said.
Fredericks said he felt that Pegg, as a cop, was untouchable.
But in 2012, he watched the sexual abuse trial of Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and then his conviction on June 11. "The next day, June 12, my shell cracked," he said.
Fredericks said he got drunk, snorted cocaine, and with friend Bob Reynolds -- whom police arrested as an accomplice -- went to Pegg's Stillwater home with a hunting knife Pegg had given him back in scouting. He admitted that he repeatedly stabbed Pegg and slit his throat.
Despite the savage nature of the killing, the prosecutor accepted a passion-provocation guilty plea, meaning Fredericks faced a possible sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison.
"Dennis Pegg not only stole my childhood, but he affected how I lived my whole life," Fredericks said in court Thursday.