By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
MERCER COUNTY —
Anthony Argenziano’s mother, sister and uncle said the man who stabbed Tracey L. Goga more than 30 times after a day of drinking and taking drugs is not the man they know.
They all asked that a judge give Argenziano a second chance, “to show everybody who he truly is without drugs and alcohol,” as his uncle, Randy Carroll, put it.
“You don’t get a second chance in murder cases,” Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson responded.
Dobson agreed with prosecutors that the maximum penalty was proper and sentenced Argenziano to 20 to 40 years in prison for third-degree murder, a charge Argenziano pleaded guilty to June 17.
“It will take most of your life,” Dobson said to Argenziano, 21.
Argenziano attacked the 42-year-old Goga, whom he called a “good friend,” June 7, 2012, in her apartment in the 300 block of East State Street in Sharon.
He had taken 10 pills of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax and also had smoked marijuana and drank alcohol.
Argenziano’s mother, Deborah Carroll, told Dobson that she and Argenziano’s father “share a lot of the blame” for Argenziano’s crime.
His parents were both drug addicts who spent time in jail, and there was a lot of domestic abuse in the household that he witnessed, she said.
Argenziano tried to protect his mother from the abuse, but turned to drugs himself at age 12.
He didn’t deal with the family situation “constructively,” said Argenziano’s attorney, Stanley T. Booker, who asked for a minimum sentence of 12è years.
Family members said Argenziano still turned out respectful, kind and helpful, and never turned bitter over his upbringing.
“Deep down, I believe I’m a better person,” Argenziano said.
He apologized to Goga’s family for what he did.
“Nothing I can do or say will ever make up for such a thing,” Argenziano said. “I would do anything in the world to take back what happened. I would trade places.”
He said he “can’t imagine” what Goga’s family has gone through and did not expect them to forgive him.
“I can’t even forgive myself,” Argenziano said.
He said he hoped the Goga family could find closure.
“I’ve felt nothing but remorse from the day it happened,” he said. “I feel sick to my stomach.”
District Attorney Robert G. Kochems said Argenziano “totally failed” to respond to the love and support that he received from some family members, and his drug use escalated over time.
“Everything in his history indicates he has no control of himself,” Kochems said. “He’s simply too much of a danger to society to be set free.”
While acknowledging that he doesn’t believe Argenziano is evil, Dobson agreed with Kochems.
“In this case, you acted with such rage,” Dobson said, speculating that Goga was an unfortunate stand-in for Argenziano’s mother on the night of the attack.
“I do think you are a danger, that this could happen again,” he said. “I will not and cannot do anything to endanger the public.”
Argenziano was given credit for 448 days and assessed $6,500.