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Man gets up to life in prison for murder at luxury NYC apartment

James Rackover was found guilty in the 2016 death of Hofstra University graduate Joseph Comunale.

James Rackover awaits sentencing in Manhattan on Wednesday,

James Rackover awaits sentencing in Manhattan on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Photo Credit: New York Post via AP, Pool/Erik Thomas

A man will spend up to life in prison for the beating and stabbing death of a party guest at his luxury Manhattan apartment.

James Rackover, 27, was sentenced to about 29 years to life on Wednesday for the 2016 murder of Stamford, Connecticut, resident and Hofstra University graduate Joseph Comunale.

It's not clear what triggered the deadly violence. Authorities say partygoers were drinking and snorting cocaine.

Comunale's body was shoved out of a window and stuffed in a car trunk. It was taken to Oceanport, New Jersey, where it was torched and buried in a makeshift grave.

The Daily News reported that his father, Patsy Comunale, in a statement in court called Rackover a "coward" who "has no place in a free society."

Rackover was convicted last month. Two other defendants are awaiting trial.

Rackover had a close relationship with noted jeweler Jeffrey Rackover, who considered him a son, a spokesman for the jeweler said in 2016. James Rackover was from Florida, where he was known as James Beaudoin. He changed his name to that of his partner, multiple outlets reported.

James Rackover had been convicted of robbery as a juvenile, pleaded no contest to a burglary charge and had multiple probation violations, The New York Times said, citing records. Rackover served 18 months behind bars at Florida's South Bay Correctional Facility before being released in 2013, according to the Times.

With Newsday Staff

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