Prince George's County teenagers Fausto E. Solorzaro and Jennifer Sosa shared a romance, dating for four months.
The two remained friendly after their breakup in January. But when Solorzaro took up with another girl who didn't like him paying attention to his ex, things turned bloody.
In March, Solorzaro attacked Sosa in her home in an unincorporated section of the county near Hyattsville. Solorzaro bludgeoned Sosa in the head with a hammer, then pulled back the girl's head and cut her throat.
Sosa -- about 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 130 pounds -- fought back against the larger Solorzaro. Her ex-boyfriend stabbed her 25 times, slicing her hands as she tried to shield herself and inflicting wounds that collapsed both her lungs. Sosa battled him with such ferocity that he called his new girlfriend for help on a two-way radio.
Sosa staggered up a flight of stairs to a phone. She thought she was dead when she initially couldn't get a dial tone. She survived.
In July, Solorzaro, 16, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder.
At his sentencing hearing Thursday, Assistant State's Attorney Mary K. Brennan asked Circuit Court Judge Michael Whalen to impose a sentence of 20 years, the deal she had agreed to with the defendant's attorney.
Whalen, who was not bound by the plea agreement, sentenced Solorzaro to 50 years in prison. The judge told Solorzaro: "The only thing I can say, sir, is I can't even begin to imagine a more horrible experience suffered by anyone than was suffered by Miss Sosa. And I can't imagine a more heartless, coldblooded act [than] you committed."
Solorzaro's defense attorney did not respond to a phone message yesterday. The attorney's answering machine said he was away from the office.
State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey was happy to share his reaction to the sentence.
"God bless Judge Whalen," Ivey said. "I certainly think that the amount of time he gave this guy was more than appropriate. It was a shockingly violent attack."
Whalen said he considered Sosa's description of how the assault has affected her in deciding Solorzaro's sentence.
Standing a few feet from her attacker, Sosa told Whalen: "This is something I have to live with every day. When I'm walking in the mall and someone will stare at my neck, and they will ask me what happened to my neck, and all the memories will come back. Just to think that somebody I thought was so close to me would do something like this to me, it opened my eyes."
Sosa said that parts of her body are numb and that she often suffers from nightmares. "Before, I could move and have fun," Sosa said. "Now, I'm just like always sad or staring at things. I'm just not the person that I used to be. I feel like I did nothing to deserve this."
Prosecutors said Solorzaro was egged on to attack Sosa by his new girlfriend, who is also 16 and is pregnant by Solorzaro. They said she apparently was jealous of Sosa, even though Sosa never made advances toward Solorzaro after they had broken up.
The girlfriend has been charged as a juvenile with second-degree assault in the attack on Sosa, and her case is pending, prosecutors said. The Washington Post generally does not use the names of defendants charged as minors.
Solorzaro attacked Sosa in her home shortly after noon March 12. Solorzaro called to make sure she was home alone and brought a knife and hammer, prosecutors said.
Sosa, 16, spent 10 days in Prince George's Hospital Center. Her lungs had to be inflated, and she received several blood transfusions.