Berkeley Stabber Gets 316 Years

Three strikes and you're off the streets

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, Apr 2, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM PDT
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A man who went on a stabbing and burglary spree in Berkeley three years ago, injuring three people, was sentenced Friday to 316 years to life in state prison.

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A man who went on a stabbing and burglary spree in Berkeley three years ago, injuring three people, was sentenced Friday to 316 years to life in state prison.

At the hearing for 55-year-old Michael Cornelius, prosecutor Mark Melton said the state's tough "Three Strikes" sentencing law "was created precisely to deal with people like Mr. Cornelius who have spent their adult lives committing crimes."

The judge agreed, saying Cornelius is exactly the kind of criminal the Three Strikes Law was designed to address.

Cornelius had six prior felony convictions before his May 7, 2007, crime spree in Berkeley and had only been out of state prison for five months before the spree, Melton said.

Cornelius was convicted Jan. 28 of three counts of burglary for the crime spree. He broke into two homes in Berkeley, stealing a laptop bag from one home and stealing a laptop from the other.

He threw a wine bottle at one of the victims, and cut another victim's arm with a knife and held it to her throat before he left. Melton said Cornelius later entered a firehouse and assaulted two Berkeley firefighters with a knife.

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