STATEN ISLAND — A jury Wednesday convicted a man of fatally stabbing his girlfriend inside a hotel room being used as a homeless shelter, but after more than a week of deliberations they could not decide who killed her two children.
Michael Sykes, 26, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Rebecca Cutler, 25, on Feb. 10, 2016 inside the Ramada Inn at 535 Gannon Ave. N., prosecutors said. Sykes faces 25 years to life on that charge.
Jurors were hung on charges that Sykes also killed her daughter Ziana Cutler, 1, and their 4-month-old daughter Mayiah Sykes.
"Michael Sykes is now a convicted murderer and he will receive a life sentence in prison for the tragic death of Rebecca Cutler," District Attorney Michael McMahon said in a statement.
"We will prepare to vigorously seek to ensure that justice is also served on behalf of her children."
Sykes' lawyer, Mark Fonte, did not respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors portrayed Sykes as a man fueled by jealous rage over texts Cutler got from another man, attacking her on the street the night before the fatal stabbing. Prosecutors also claimed Sykes stabbed Cutler and her three daughter more than 130 times.
Cutler's daughter, Miracle, who was 2 years old at the time, was also stabbed about 11 times but survived.
Sykes testified he killed Cutler in self defense as was trying to save the children from their psychotic mother. "I attempted to save what was left but it was too late," Sykes said during the trial. "I couldn't believe what was going on."
In addition to the second-degree murder conviction, jurors also convicted Sykes of grand larceny for stealing Cutler's cellphone the day before she was stabbed to death.