Man gets life for Tenderloin stabbing

A 42-year-old San Francisco man was sentenced to 56 years to life in prison today for the 2006 murder of his roommate inside their Tenderloin high-rise apartment building.

Joseph Caldwell was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2008 for fatally stabbing 60-year-old Rodney Wild on Aug. 4, 2006, inside their apartment at 455 Eddy St.

The pair had reportedly had a prior sexual relationship, and at the time of the killing, Wild was allowing Caldwell to stay in the apartment with him.

Caldwell confessed to police after the killing, telling them that Wild had been harassing him verbally and physically, and that early that morning, he finally “snapped.”

Police found Wild in a pool of blood on the floor of the apartment, with a large, bloody kitchen knife nearby. He had been stabbed about a dozen times in the chest, abdomen and neck. He died later at the
hospital.

In court today, Caldwell read a statement to Judge Teri Jackson condemning the prosecution and asserting the killing was voluntary manslaughter.

“There was no premeditation, no deliberation, no malice of forethought, no planning whatsoever,” he said.

“My time in prison will be short,” he added.

Caldwell promised that either his conviction would be successfully appealed, or he would succumb to his failing health due to AIDS.

Jackson informed Caldwell that even if the prosecution would have offered him a plea deal for manslaughter, because of his prior conviction in 2004 for assault with a deadly weapon for a hatchet attack, and because he had only been out of custody and on parole for 14 months before Wild's killing, she would not likely have accepted it.

Jackson sentenced Caldwell to 25 years to life for first-degree murder, plus another 31 years for the prior felony conviction and the use of a deadly weapon in Wild's killing.

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