A jealous killer who stabbed his lover 32 times has been imprisoned for at least 22 years.
Keith Rizzo, 23, pounced on Neomi Smith shortly after seeing her dance with another man in a pub.
Neomi was also throttled and suffered blunt force injuries during the attack on her apartment in Brechin, Angus on June 9th.
Rizzo later lied that the 23-year-old female worker had been brutally attacked by two mysterious attackers to whom she apparently owed debt.
Today the farm worker was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Glasgow High Court for being convicted of murder last month.
Lady Rae branded Rizzo – who appeared via video link from the prison – a “jealous and possessive young man”.
He added: “Only you can reveal the precise series of events.
“What is now known is that you conducted a savage, vicious and prolonged attack on a defenseless young woman in the kitchen of the apartment you shared with her.”
The judge said “what price” Neomi had paid before trying to “have fun” in the pub.
Lady Rae went on to describe Rizzo’s lies as “a very imaginative tale”.
He said to him, “All of this has shown an insensitive attitude towards someone who has done his best to avoid taking responsibility for this brutal crime.”
Jurors heard that the couple had met in early 2019.
Rizzo – who had previously been convicted of domestic abuse in relation to an ex – was violent with his girlfriend shortly after the relationship.
Weeks before the murder, Neomi – originally from Aberdeen – had told a friend how the thug had suffocated her until she passed out.
He later had a fiery line with his partner in his apartment, breaking a mirror wardrobe door and then tossing her the iPhone.
Eventually a disoriented Neomi was discovered in the stairwell with a large bump on her head.
The trial heard heard how the two were at Brechin’s Hudson’s Bar the night before the murder.
It was there that Rizzo lost the plot and shattered a table of drinks.
His friend Cameron Saunders recalled how Rizzo stormed the pub after seeing Neomi dance with another man.
Saunders added: “It was a bump. They were dancing away for a while when Keith said “enough.” “
Rizzo later claimed that his lover had been “provocative” and had “embarrassed” him.
Neomi remained in tears and heard himself say: “This is what I have to endure”.
He confided to his friend Kayleigh Cameron how he had suffered at the hands of Rizzo.
Miss Cameron then recalled her last conversation with her.
The witness: “I asked her if she would be safe. She replied “Yes”.
“He told me he would lock the door and keep the key so he couldn’t use hers to gain access.”
But instead, the trial listened to how Rizzo ran out of the pub, made his way into the apartment before carrying out the horrendous murder.
He suffocated Neomi, used two knives to stab Neomi 32 times and also left her hit with the same amount of bludgeoning wounds.
But soon Rizzo spun a net of lies to hide what had happened.
He ran to Miss Smith’s neighbor for the first time, claiming that he had quarreled with “someone” while in the shower.
Stephen Alexander composed 999 and then recalled the bloodbath when Neomi was found hit in her kitchen.
Alexander said to the jurors: “I saw a scene of carnage. There were glass and debris throughout the kitchen.
“It seemed like a battle had taken place. There were bottles of sauce, fruit and vegetables in the broken glass.
He gave Neomi CPR before the arrival of the mercy crews.
Paramedic Angela McKenzie recalled that the apartment was “like a horror movie”.
He checked Neomi’s neck for injury.
Miss McKenzie said, “I can’t even describe it – it was like Leerdammer cheese.
“It was full of holes – the back of the head and the neck. I gave up counting how many holes there were.”
Rizzo’s mom Frances then visited her son in Perth prison a week later while in pre-trial detention.
He gave a bizarre account of how two men took turns to stab Neomi after the couple returned home.
Rizzo said he pleaded with the couple to clear his bank account if he was owed money.
But he insisted that the mysterious couple killed Neomi by adding, “This isn’t the first time we’ve done it.”
The trial, heard, however there was no trace on the CCTV of the so-called attackers.
In his jury speech, Prosecutor Duncan McPhie called the story “far-fetched” and “unbelievable”.
Donald Findlay QC, in defense, said to the court today: “He does not agree to participate in the death of this young woman.”