A San Francisco Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered a man accused of fatally stabbing another man in the Tenderloin last year to stand trial for manslaughter and not murder.
Judge Jerome Benson made the finding at the conclusion of a preliminary court hearing for Patrick Sullivan, 46, who allegedly stabbed 40-year-old William Quinn inside the Cadillac Market at 499 Eddy St. on Nov. 30, 2009.
The two men had reportedly been arguing about drugs outside the store prior to the stabbing.
According to police and prosecutors, Sullivan entered the store, followed by Quinn, and asked the clerk to call 911. Sullivan then allegedly stabbed Quinn in the chest.
Employees inside the market witnessed the stabbing, which was also captured on the store’s surveillance camera.
Sullivan’s attorney argued Sullivan stabbed Quinn in self-defense.
According to public defender Kwixuan Maloof, Sullivan had wanted to buy heroin from Quinn, but Quinn only had crack.
Maloof argued Quinn had postured outside the store as if he had a weapon–though police never found a weapon on him–and when he advanced toward Sullivan inside the market, Sullivan feared for his life.
Both men were later found to have been under the influence–Sullivan had methamphetamine in his system and a blood-alcohol level of nearly 0.3, and Quinn tested positive for cocaine and valium–according to Maloof.
Prosecutors had originally charged Sullivan with first-degree murder, but Benson Tuesday ruled that Sullivan should stand trial only for voluntary manslaughter.
Sullivan is scheduled to be arraigned in superior court on May 18.
A trial date on the manslaughter charge has not yet been set.