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Sebastopol man sentenced to 7 years in prison in fatal stabbing of teenager

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A 19-year-old Sebastopol man has been sentenced to seven years in prison in the stabbing death of another Sebastopol resident after an ongoing dispute led to a street fight between the two men, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office said.

Anthony Ibach was convicted in June of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Cory Alan Vaughn, 19, after a Sonoma County jury rejected murder charges pressed by prosecutors, which could have led to around 12 years in prison.

The two men had been arguing over a PlayStation game on April 21, 2018, shortly after Sebastopol’s annual Apple Blossom Festival ended. Vaughn was at a party at an apartment across from a restaurant parking lot when prosecutors said that Ibach repeatedly messaged people inside, prompting Vaughn and at least four others to meet him outside in the parking lot.

Ibach was outnumbered and surrounded, said his defense attorney Joe Bisbiglia, leading him to use a knife against Vaughn in self-defense, he said.

Prosecutors said he slashed him so forcefully that Vaughn was lifted off the ground.

Wednesday’s emotional sentencing hearing included statements given by Vaughn’s family. Vaughn’s father cried as he spoke from the witness stand of the family’s loss, according to Bisbiglia.

Ibach understands the grief he caused and expressed his remorse in a letter he wrote to Judge Chris Honigsberg prior to being sentenced, Bisbiglia said.

“They were both young boys and this sentencing had a huge impact on both Ibach and me,” Bisbiglia said. “I have handled a dozen murders in my career and it is always emotional, but especially when there are young people involved.”

After the stabbing, Ibach ditched his car, changed his clothes, and with help from friends, fled to San Rafael, where he was arrested in the evening, hours after a traffic stop in which he gave an officer a false name.

Honigsberg sentenced Ibach to six years for voluntary manslaughter and one year for the use of a knife, totaling seven years.

Bisbiglia said the sentence was fair and was what he and Ibach expected.

“He (Ibach) is youthful, remorseful and has no prior records,” said Bisbiglia, a longtime criminal attorney in Santa Rosa. “It was a very heartfelt sentencing but we feel strongly that he (Ibach) was acting in self defense.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell said that the age of the two men, the loss of a child in a difficult situation and the defendant’s argument were all factors in the judge’s decision.

“The defense attorney (Bisbiglia) asked for probation but we argued for the more serious aggravated term,” Staebell said. That would have potentially led to a harsher punishment.

Vaughn was a 2016 graduate of Analy High School, a youth football player and the eldest child of Alan and Sharon Vaughn of Sebastopol. The Vaughn family could not be reached for comment.

You can reach Staff Writer Alexandria Bordas at 707-521-5337 or alexandria.bordas@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @CrossingBordas.

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