Man pleads guilty to stabbing 25-year-old buying food at Jackson Heights food cart

QUEENS, NY – Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that John Daves, 34, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the September 2018 stabbing death of a 25-year-old Long Island man, who was patronizing a food cart in Jackson Heights, Queens when he was attacked. District Attorney Katz said, “A minor dispute while ordering at a food cart escalated into a man being chased down and brutally stabbed to death.

This was a needless act of violence that should never have happened.” Daves, whose address is unknown, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on February 3, 2021.

Justice Holder indicated he will sentence Daves to 17 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post release supervision. District Attorney Katz said that, shortly after 9:30 p.m. on September 27, 2018, at the intersection of 80th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Daves and the victim, Miguel Angel Becerra-Perez, were both waiting at a food cart to place their orders. The two men exchanged words and a verbal argument ensued.

The defendant grabbed a knife from the food cart and video surveillance of the scene shows him chase the 25-year-old victim down the street, catch up with him and then stab Becerra-Perez in the right arm and chest. The victim died as a result of the knife attack.

Assistant District Attorney Courtney Finnerty, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Adarna DeFrietas, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, Bureau Chief, Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John W. Kosinski and Kenneth M. Appelbaum, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders