SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The suspect in a fatal stabbing outside a Massachusetts homeless shelter has been convicted of first-degree murder.

The Republican newspaper reports that Jose Ramos was convicted Thursday of killing Luis Sanchez in March 15 outside the Friends of the Homeless facility in Springfield. Both men had been staying in the shelter.

The jury deliberated about two hours before reaching its verdict. The 35-year-old Ramos received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Ramos, who stabbed Sanchez four times, has been held for three years awaiting trial as issues of legal representation and competency have been addressed.

Ramos' lawyer said it was a case of self-defense, and the 26-year-old Sanchez initiated the confrontation when he came at Ramos with a screwdriver.

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Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/