St. John’s lacrosse captain accused of gutting roommate goes on trial


A former St. John’s University lacrosse player who was stabbed in the guts by a former teammate during a fight at home to loud music recalled the bloody incident Monday during the assault trial of her alleged attacker in Queens.

Justin Corpolongo looked shaken as he described preparing for the brutal 2019 fight with his then roommate Matthew Stockfeder – whose lawyer said he only used the knife in self-defense after Corpolongo started the fight.

Corpolongo – who ended up with his “guts. . . hanging in his stomach,” according to Assistant District Attorney Konstantinos Liturgis – said the incident began when he came home from a long shift as a bartender and found his home the scene of a house party with about 20 guys blasting music.

“My room was right below the floor where they were having a party,” said Corpolongo, who graduated in 2018 and now works as a teacher.

Matthew Stockfeder’s attorney claims he only used a knife in self-defense.
Kevin C. Downs

After politely asking them to turn the volume down, Corpolongo said he “went upstairs and unplugged the speaker’s power cord.”

Corpolongo, whose parents were in the Queens Supreme Court supporting him, watched Stockfeder as he testified.

Nearly 40 people came out to support Stockfeder, 24, on the first day of his assault trial.

Richard Sullivan, the first witness to speak, told the jury how the former lacrosse captain and the rest of the revelers showed up at his house later that night.

Justin Corpolongo
Justin Corpolongo was left with his intestines hanging out of his body after the stab wound.
RICHARD HARBUS

He said Stockfeder grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and showed it after placing it in his belt.

“I asked him ‘why does he have this [knife]?’ and [Stockfeder] answered “to defend myself,” Sullivan told the jury.

Stockfeder “held his phone with both hands and looked like he had his face buried in it,” Sullivan described.

Matt Stockfeder
Matt Stockfeder’s attorney said he reacted out of fear.

He “antagonized” Corpolongo in a group text, the ADA said.

Corpolongo then arrived, taking on Stockfeder and throwing the first punches, Liturgis said.

Two lacrosse players stepped in to break up the fight – that’s when Stockfeder “took a knife from his belt and plunged it not once but twice into his [ Corpolongo’s] lower abdomen.”

Justin Corpolongo
Justin Corpolongo says the fight started when he came home from work for a heated house party.
Corpolongo family

Defense attorney Michael Douglas Horn argued that his client “reacted out of fear”, while the victim “reacted out of rage”.

Corpolongo is expected to describe the fight and the stabbing when he continues his testimony on Tuesday. The trial is expected to last four days.

New York Post

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