DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty in the stabbing death of a homeless veteran near a train station outside Philadelphia.

Twenty-one-year-old Dale Wakefield of Doylestown pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder in a deal with prosecutors who had vowed to seek capital punishment.

Wakefield told reporters outside the courtroom that he took the deal because he "didn't want the death penalty." Prosecutors said the sentence will make the community safer.

Prosecutors said Wakefield had been out celebrating his birthday before he stabbed 71-year-old George Mohr more than 70 times with a pocket knife outside the Doylestown train station on July 3.

Mohr's sister, Kathy Driscoll, called the victim a "kind, generous, caring" man. She tearfully recounted his Army service and subsequent battles with schizophrenia.