A man who admitted to stabbing and killing his wife of just two weeks in June 2015 was sentenced to to 16 years in prison on Thursday, the Queens district attorney said.
Miguel Pichardo, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter back in May, and received his punishment less than a month later. Before the sentencing, family members of victim Yolanda Gonsalves provided victim statements from Guyana and Trinidad, as they were not able to travel to the U.S.
"The victim was viciously attacked by her spouse just two weeks after saying 'I do.' The defendant told police she had challenged his authority," said Queens DA Melinda Katz. "No one should have to suffer silently with an abusive partner."
According to Katz, Pichardo stabbed Gonsalves multiple times inside their Richmond Hill home just before 7 a.m. on June 2, 2015. When a neighbor heard screams, he went to the couple's door, Katz said, and Pichardo answered covered in blood, wearing only pajama bottoms.
Pichardo told the man he was cleaning, but the neighbor heard the 27-year-old Gonsalves cry out from inside, "I'm having trouble breathing, he's killing me." The neighbor then went back to his apartment and called police.
When police arrived at the apartment, they found Gonsalves' body partially wrapped in a carpet in the living room, according to court papers. Police also recovered a knife handle on the bed and the blood-covered blade wrapped in a curtain near Gonsalves' body. Pichardo had fled the scene, court records show.
In the rear of the building outside, investigators found more blood on a door and fence, court documents said. While Pichardo was not in the apartment when police arrived, he returned hours later walking barefoot, shirtless and still wearing the blood-stained pajama bottoms.
Pichardo told police that the two had married just two weeks before, and that "I felt like it was her time to die." He also said that Gonsalves had questioned his authority and "gave him the finger" before he slapped her, stabbed her multiple times and then choked her, court documents read.
"If you have been the victim of domestic violence, please reach out to get help," Katz said. "My office and our partner providers can help you get away from your abuser and protect your own life."