Anthony J. Haukos was delusional when he used a pair of scissors to fatally stab an acquaintance nearly a year ago, but on Thursday, a Ramsey County judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

Haukos, 45, had been found competent to stand trial last January, and in August, he pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder in the slaying of Thomas Stein, 61, who lived across the street from him in a group home.

Judge George Stephenson credited Haukos for 300 days in jail and ordered him to begin serving his sentence at St. Cloud prison.

Police had been called to the group homes north of the State Capitol last Oct. 27 after Stein, who court papers say dressed like a woman, called a mental health practitioner and said a man known as "Tony" was in his apartment, being unruly.

Police found a door to the apartment building locked, and through a window, one officer saw what appeared to be a middle-aged woman sprawled on the floor, covered in blood.

Directly behind that person was a man lying with his body curled up against the victim.

Another officer arrived and yelled until he made eye contact with the suspect and said, "Don't do anything stupid." But Haukos looked into the officer's eyes, stabbed the victim in the neck with the scissors, looked at the officer again, and stabbed a second time.

Police broke in, and Haukos yelled that he was the "devil."

Joy Powell • 651-925-5038