A Richmond Hill man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter for killing his wife in 2015, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Miguel Pichardo, 30, of 134th Street, admitted to stabbing Yollanda Gonsalves multiple times before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder, who handed down his sentence Wednesday, June 16.
Before sentencing, the court allowed 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.
Katz said Pichardo had stabbed the victim multiple times inside the couple’s Richmond Hill apartment in the evening of June 2, 2015. A neighbor heard the woman’s screams and went to the apartment door. Pichardo answered wearing only pajama pants and was covered in blood telling the neighbor that he was cleaning, according to the DA.
The neighbor later heard the 27-year-old victim screaming from within the apartment, “I’m having trouble breathing, he’s killing me,” according to Katz. The neighbor went back to his own apartment and called 911.
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 discovered a knife handle on the bed and a blood-covered blade wrapped in a curtain, near the woman’s body. Pichardo was not in the apartment.
Investigators discovered more blood outside the building on a rear door and fence, according to court papers. After several hours, Pichardo 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 choked her.
“The victim was viciously attacked by her spouse just two weeks after saying ‘I do.’ The defendant told police she had challenged her authority. No one should have to suffer silently with an abusive partner,” Katz said. “My office and our partner provider can help you get away from your abuser and protect your own life.”
Justice Holder sentenced Pichardo to 16 years in prison to be followed by five years’ post release supervision.