A young man who fatally stabbed a Mormon missionary during an attempted robbery last spring has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Edward Ferncombe, 18, of Dublin, admitted stabbing 20-year-old Gale Critchfield of Payson outside the Mormon House in Dublin on May 27.Prosecutors originally had charged Ferncombe with murder, but agreed to the guilty plea to a reduced charge of manslaughter on Jan. 22.

"This is an extremely serious offense which led to the death of an innocent young man. This type of attack is becoming far too frequent," Justice Richard Johnston said in passing sentence Wednesday.

He said he took into account the defendant's remorse, his cooperation with the police and the fact that he has been held in prison for nearly a year.

Police said Critchfield was stabbed once in the heart.

Defense attorney Seamus Sorohan told the judge that Ferncombe was filled with remorse, and had written to Mormon elders expressing his contrition.

Detective Inspector Michael Carolan said Ferncombe had consumed three quarts of cider and a can of beer before the robbery attempt.

"I am satisfied the motive for the attack was robbery and had no connection with religious bigotry," Carolan said.