David Tarloff, 45, has been in custody since 2008. He was convicted of the first-degree murder of Dr. Kathryn Faughey in March after two abortive trials.
Faughey shared an office on Manhattan's Upper East Side with Dr. Kent Shinbach. Tarloff used a meat cleaver and knives to attack them both, seriously injuring Shinbach.
During Friday's hearing, Tarloff apologized to Faughey's family. He asked Justice Edwin L. McLaughlin for a lenient sentence, saying he did not know what he was doing at the time.
“I believe in obeying the law, but that night I had a thought come into my head that I interpreted as coming from God,” Mr. Tarloff, who had been hospitalized many times after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, said. “God said your mother’s going to die unless you kill Dr. Shinbach. I didn’t want to do this, I swear to God, but I thought all these bad things were going to happen.”
Tarloff planned to steal $50,000, using the money to get his mother out of a nursing home and move with her to Hawaii.
Prosecutors and Faughey's brothers asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence.
His first trial ended when he was found incompetent during jury selection. In the second, jurors were unable to agree on whether he should be acquitted by reason of insanity.