A 440-pound Italian man, Dimitri Fricano, who had been convicted of brutally stabbing his girlfriend, Erika Preti, to death during a heated argument over breadcrumbs in their hotel bed, has been released from prison after serving only a year. The court made this surprising decision due to concerns that the high-calorie diet served in the facility could pose a life-threatening risk to Fricano.
In 2017, Fricano, aged 35 and from Biella, Italy, committed the gruesome act by stabbing 25-year-old Erika Preti 57 times while they were vacationing in Sardinia. He was initially sentenced to 30 years for murder in 2019, but due to COVID-related delays, he did not start serving his sentence until April 2022.
During his time in prison, Fricano’s weight had skyrocketed to over 440 pounds, which led the Turin Surveillance Court to grant his release on medical grounds. The court determined that his extreme obesity rendered him “incompatible with the prison regime,” as he struggled to move without assistance, such as a wheelchair or crutches.
Additionally, Fricano’s habit of chain-smoking further exacerbated his health concerns. The court also noted that Fricano’s continued incarceration posed a danger to his life because the prison system was unable to provide the low-calorie diet required for him to lose weight safely.
As a result of this decision, Fricano will be under house arrest at the residence of his parents near Milan, where he can access a healthier diet. This decision has caused outrage among the victim’s family, who view Fricano’s release as “shameful.”
Erika Preti’s father, Fabrizio Preti, expressed his distress over the decision, stating, “No one will give me back my little girl. But for us, the pain is still too strong for him to be released so soon. It was like receiving a stab to the heart.”
The tragic incident occurred in June 2017 when Fricano and Preti were vacationing in San Teodoro, Sardinia, and got into a heated argument about Fricano’s messy eating habits. Fricano initially tried to blame the murder on robbers but eventually confessed, stating that he killed her after she insulted him over breadcrumbs and hit him with a paperweight.
Fricano’s defense lawyers argued that he suffered from various medical conditions, including anxiety-depressive bulimia syndrome, a personality disorder, and sleep apnea. Doctors also warned of his high risk of cardiovascular disease, emphasizing the need for a specialized low-calorie diet, which the Turin prison could not provide.
The Turin Surveillance Court concurred with these medical assessments, leading to Fricano’s unexpected release from prison.