Matthew Stockfeder poses for a portrait in March 2016.


Matthew Stockfeder poses for a portrait in March 2016.

Credit: James Escher

A former college lacrosse standout from Melville has been convicted of assault in the 2019 stabbing of his former St. John’s University teammate, the Queens district attorney’s office said Friday.

A Queens jury, after a three-week-long trial, found Matthew Stockfeder, 23, of Alderfield Lane, guilty of first-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon for twice plunging a kitchen knife into the abdomen of his former teammate.

“The victim in this case was nearly eviscerated by the defendant after an argument escalated to a physical altercation,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “As others broke up the fight, the defendant pulled out a kitchen knife and plunged it twice into his teammate’s abdomen. After listening to the evidence, a jury rendered a guilty verdict.”

Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephen Knopf, who presided over the trial, set sentencing for April 7. Stockfeder faces up to 25 years in prison.

Stockfeder, a 2016 graduate of Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, was a senior and one of four co-captains on the university's lacrosse team at the time of the attack. 

On Oct. 22, 2019, the victim was trying to sleep in the home near the Queens campus that he shared with Stockfeder and others and complained about noise from a party because he had to work early the next day, according to the district attorney’s office, citing trial testimony.

Stockfeder and the then-23-year-old victim argued in a group text message and Stockfeder called him a loser, according to trial testimony. The victim then went to where the party had moved, to confront Stockfeder. A physical fight ensued after Stockfeder “appeared to take a stance and raise his arms as if he might strike his housemate” and the victim “punched Stockfeder, who fell to the ground,” the district attorney’s office said.

“Other students grabbed the victim and that’s when the defendant stood up, pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim twice in his stomach,” according to the district attorney’s office.

Stockfeder’s lead defense attorney Eric Franz said his client was “totally justified“ and will appeal.

“The complainant hunted down Matthew, barged into a house uninvited and proceeded to beat Matthew to the ground, where he then straddled his body, placed his left forearm on Matthew’s chest, pinning him to the ground and repeatedly struck Matthew in the skull while other men were unsuccessfully trying to pry him off of Matthew,” Franz said.

“The injury sustained by the complainant occurred before the fight was ended, not after. Matthew’s response was not intentional, but an instinctual act of survival,” Franz said. 

The victim underwent lifesaving emergency surgery to repair a laceration to his small intestine, the district attorney’s office said.

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