A MAN who stabbed two people to death after an argument about a car parking spot has been jailed for at least 24 years.
Weeping erupted in courtrooms in the Victorian Supreme Court and in Morwell, where people who knew the victims watched the sentencing via videolink, as Richard De Vries was sentenced, the Herald Sun reports.
De Vries, 38, was found guilty of the murder of Evan Rudd and the manslaughter of his friend, Roy Poole, both 29, by a jury in June.
In February last year, De Vries returned to a friend's apartment complex in High St, Moe, from a night drinking and found his car had been blocked by Mr Poole's vehicle.
Mr Poole was visiting Mr Rudd.
De Vries, who was on parole at the time, began shouting threats, demanding the car be moved or it would be damaged.
A witness, Rodney Havis, heard De Vries call for a kitchen knife and armed himself with a sharpening steel before going to move the car with Mr Poole and Mr Rudd.
Following a fight with the men in which De Vries was punched in the face, De Vries lunged at Mr Rudd and Mr Poole, stabbing them in the chest and arms.
De Vries then fled the scene and was arrested several days later.
The injured men went back to Mr Rudd's unit, where they collapsed while waiting for an ambulance.
Mr Poole died at the scene. Mr Rudd passed away later in the Latrobe Valley Hospital.
De Vries, whose eyes were cast down throughout the sentencing, claimed he acted in self-defence.
Justice Lex Lasry told De Vries, who has 80 prior convictions, these “terrible” crimes were avoidable as he was being urged to leave the premises at the time.
"They were futile, violent and mindless and by the time you stabbed these men your actions were unprovoked," Justice Lasry said.
"(The victims') friends and family are having to deal with the fact that these young lives were taken as they were embarking on the best years of their adult lives and clearly those close to them will carry the impact of your crimes for the rest of their lives."
De Vries was sentenced to 24 years for murder, 13 years for manslaughter, with seven years to be served cumulatively.
His total effective sentence was 31 years, with a non-parole period of 24 years.
Read more at the Herald Sun.