NEW YORK — Six years after slashing a psychotherapist he did not know to death with a meat cleaver, David Tarloff stood before a judge and pleaded for mercy Friday, saying he was tormented for decades by what felt was a running battle in his head between God and Satan.
‘‘I didn’t want to do this, I swear to God,’’ he said. ‘‘But I thought all these bad things were going to happen.’’
Tarloff was sentenced to life in prison for killing Kathryn Faughey and seriously wounding her officemate, capping a case long fraught with questions about his mental health.
On one side of the courtroom sat about a dozen of Faughey’s relatives, including some siblings who have attended each of the roughly 95 days of court in a case rocked by two mistrials. On the other sat Tarloff’s brother, Robert.
Tarloff, 46, never disputed killing Faughey and wounding her officemate, Dr. Kent Shinbach, in February 2008 in their Manhattan office.
Tarloff had intended to rob Shinbach — a psychiatrist he hadn’t seen in 17 years — in hopes of getting money to take his mother out of a nursing home. Defense lawyers argued that the frequently delusional Tarloff should not be held criminally accountable for the bloodbath.