A New Jersey man who said he was looking for a "portal to hell" has been sentenced to 36 years in prison for stabbing three people in a backyard.

Union Township resident Morgan Mesz was convicted in February of attempted murder, aggravated assault and other charges.

Mesz stabbed two women in their backyard in 2011 and a male neighbor who intervened. The women suffered critical injuries but recovered.

They testified at Mesz's trial and said he told them he was looking for "the portal to hell" in their yard.

Mesz's attorney had said his client smoked synthetic marijuana and couldn't understand his actions.

Mesz was sentenced Friday to consecutive 16-year sentences for the attempted murder charges, plus a four-year term on the aggravated assault charge.