Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Miguel Pichardo, 30, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter for the June 2015 stabbing death of his wife.
District Attorney Katz said, “The victim was viciously attacked by her spouse just two weeks after saying ‘I do.’ The defendant told police she had challenged his authority. No one should have to suffer silently with an abusive partner. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, please reach out to get help. My office and our partner providers can help you get away from your abuser and protect your own life.”
Pichardo, of 134th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens, pleaded guilty on May 24, 2021, to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. Before sentencing yesterday, the Court permitted the use of video conferencing technology to allow members of the victim’s family, who could not travel to the United States, to provide impact statements from both Guyana and Trinidad. Justice Holder then sentenced the defendant to 16 years in prison to be followed by 5 years’ post release supervision.
District Attorney Katz said, around 6:45 a.m. on June 2, 2015, inside the couple’s Richmond Hill home the defendant stabbed Yollanda Gonsalves multiple times. A neighbor heard the victim’s screams coming from the apartment and went to the unit’s door. Pichardo answered wearing only pajama pants and was covered in blood. He told the neighbor that he was cleaning. The neighbor then heard the 27-year-old victim screaming from within the apartment, “I’m having trouble breathing, he’s killing me.” The neighbor went back to his apartment and called 911.
Continuing, according to Court records, when authorities arrived at the couple’s apartment, they discovered the victim’s body, partially rolled in a carpet in the living room. Police recovered a knife handle on the bed and a blade – covered in blood – wrapped in a curtain, near the woman’s body. Pichardo was not in the apartment.
Outside the building, according to Court documents, investigators discovered more blood on the rear door and a fence. After several hours, the defendant returned to the apartment, walking barefoot, shirtless and wearing blood-stained pajama pants. He told police he had been married to the victim for two weeks and said, “I felt like it was her time to die.” Pichardo claimed the victim had challenged his authority and “gave him the finger” before he slapped her, stabbed her multiple times with a knife and then choked her.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Emily Collins, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John W. Kosinski and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.
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