Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Man Who Stabbed Wife to Death at Her NYC Salon as Horrified Patrons Watched Cops Plea

Police responding to terrified 911 callers found him laying on top of his bleeding wife. The mother of two died from her injuries at a hospital

What to Know

  • A 39-year-old Queens man pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the stabbing death of his wife at the nail salon where she worked a few months ago
  • It was a night in August; William Rivas got into an argument with his wife and was kicked out of the salon, but returned moments later and stabbed her repeatedly with a long knife
  • Cops found him laying on top of the bloodied woman; the victim, a mother of two, died at a hospital

A Queens man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for stabbing his wife to death in a city nail salon as horrified patrons watched earlier this year.

William Rivas, a 39-year-old from Corona, walked into the Tu S'tilo Salon Spa in Jackson Heights Aug. 7 and repeatedly plunged a knife into his 35-year-old wife, Carmen Iris Santiago. Santiago worked at the salon. A number of people watched the attack unfold -- and filmed part of it on their phones.

According to court documents, Rivas initially was kicked out of the salon after he showed up there and started to argue with Santiago. He barged back in moments later, pulling out a long knife and stabbing her in the chest.

Police responding to terrified 911 callers found Rivas laying on top of his bleeding wife. The mother of two died from her injuries at a hospital.

It wasn't clear if the two had any sort of history of domestic violence in their relationship. Rivas is expected to get 25 years in prison when he is sentenced in February.

"This was a horrific act of domestic violence where the defendant in front of horrified onlookers, took out his anger against his wife at her place of business by mercilessly stabbing her to death," Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said in a statement after the plea deal last Friday. "The defendant admitted to this brutal crime today and he will spend decades locked behind bars as punishment for his actions."

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us