A 440-pound Italian man convicted of viciously knifing his girlfriend to death during an argument over breadcrumbs in bed has been freed from prison after serving only a year due to a court ruling that the high-calorie diet served in the facility could kill him.
Dimitri Fricano, 35, from Biella, Italy, brutally slaughtered 25-year-old Erika Preti while the pair were vacationing in Sardinia in 2017, stabbing the woman 57 times after she chided him for leaving too many crumbs in their hotel room bed.
Fricano tipped the scales at 260 pounds in 2019 when he was sentenced to 30 years on a murder conviction – but because of delays caused by COVID, he did not begin serving his term until April 2022.
Over the past year, the inmate’s weight had ballooned to more than 440 pounds, leading the Turin Surveillance Court to release Fricano from prison on medical grounds.
The court ruled last week that the corpulent convict can no longer remain behind bars because he is “incompatible with the prison regime” due to his heft, which makes it difficult for him to get around without a wheelchair or crutches. He is also a chain-smoker.
Fricano’s incarceration also puts his life at risk because prison officials are unable to provide the low-calorie diet he needs to shed the pounds, the judges said.
Fricano will serve out the rest of his sentence under house arrest at his parents’ home near Milan, where he can get access to a healthy diet.
The move enraged the victim’s family, who slammed the decision to release Fricano as “shameful.”
“No one will give me back my little girl. But for us, the pain is still too strong for him to be released so soon,” Preti’s father, Fabrizio Preti, told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “It was like receiving a stab to the heart.”
Fricano and Preti had been vacationing in the town of San Teodoro on the island of Sardinia in June 2017 when they got into an argument about his sloppy eating habits.
Fricano claimed that Erika had hit him with a paperweight, prompting him to grab a knife and plunge the blade into her body dozens of times.
Initially, the man blamed his girlfriend’s killing on robbers, but eventually he admitted his guilt.
“She insulted me for the bread and then hit me in the head, so I killed her,” Fricano was quoted as telling the police.
Fricano’s defense lawyers said he suffers from several medical conditions, including anxiety-depressive bulimia syndrome, personality disorder and sleep apnea.
Doctors weighed in that Fricano is at a high risk of cardiovascular disease and needs to follow a special diet that the prison in Turin cannot provide.
The Turin Surveillance Court judges agreed, concluding that Fricano “needs assistance that cannot be provided in the institution.”