A former captain of the St. John’s University lacrosse team was convicted by a jury of assault in the first degree for the stabbing of a former teammate in 2019, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Friday, March 25.
Matthew Stockfeder, 23, of Melville, Long Island, was found guilty on March 24 in the near-fatal stabbing of Justin Corpolongo at an off-campus frat house in Fresh Meadows.
According to trial testimony, in the early morning hours of Oct. 22, 2019, the victim was trying to sleep in the home he shared with Stockfeder and other members of the lacrosse team. The then-23-year-old victim complained about the noise from an ongoing party and explained he had to work early the next day. Even after agreeing to relocate the party, Stockfeder was angry about having to leave his own house.
According to the trial records, both men argued back and forth over a group text message. After being called a loser by the defendant, the victim went to the new party site to confront Stockfeder. The two men exchanged words and the defendant appeared to take a stance and raise his arms as if he was going to strike his housemate. That’s when the victim reacted and punched Stockfeder, who fell to the ground. Other students grabbed the victim and that’s when the defendant stood up, pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim twice in his stomach.
EMS rushed Corpolongo to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Queens, where he underwent lifesaving surgery to repair a laceration to his small intestine.
“The victim in this case was nearly eviscerated by the defendant after an argument escalated to a physical altercation,” Katz said. “As others broke up the fight, the defendant pulled out a kitchen knife and plunged it twice into his teammate’s abdomen. After listening to the evidence, the jury rendered a guilty verdict.”
The incident shocked the St. John’s campus at the time.
“I was shocked by what happened,” Santiago Mayorga Beltran, a sophomore business major at the time, told QNS after the stabbing. “The lacrosse captain is supposed to embody some of the values here from all of the student body, like the captains for the teams to really try to live by these values and value more their future.”
Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephen Knopf, who presided at trial, set sentencing for April 7. At that time, Stockfeder faces up to 25 years in prison.