A Lexington man was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison for the 2012 stabbing death of Douglas Saylor at his Elsmere Park home.
As a violent offender, Gerardo Turcios Rodriguez must serve 85 percent of that sentence before he is eligible for parole, Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine said.
Neighbors found Saylor's body inside his house on June 2, 2012, after going to check on him. Saylor, 66, had been stabbed multiple times, police said.
Rodriguez, who had once worked for Saylor, was arrested about two weeks later in East St. Louis, Ill., on a warrant from Lexington.
Rodriguez, 30, initially was charged with murder. He pleaded guilty late last year to first-degree manslaughter and tampering with evidence in an agreement with the Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney's office.
Rodriguez told the court while entering the plea that Saylor had made sexual advances toward him and that he was defending himself when the stabbing occurred.
On Thursday, Goodwine sentenced Rodriguez to 16 years on the manslaughter charge, plus one year on the tampering charge, with the terms running concurrently.
During the sentencing hearing, the defense argued that Rodriguez should be exempt from violent-offender status under Kentucky law because he was in effect defending himself from domestic abuse.
Goodwin rejected the argument, however, saying no evidence had ever been presented that Rodriguez and Saylor were in a domestic relationship.
Before imposing sentence, Goodwine invited members of Saylor's family to talk about how his death had affected them.
Michael Saylor, the victim's son, praised his father.
"I don't gamble. But when I was born, I won the lottery with my dad," he said.
Daryl Lyons, Douglas Saylor's former partner and longtime friend, urged Goodwine to "do what's right for Doug."
"I don't think he (Rodriguez) knows what he's done to this family," Lyons said.
Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255. Twitter: @hlpublicsafety.