During the two-day sentencing hearing in State Supreme Court in...
By Alex Ginsberg
A 21-year-old Ridgewood man was sentenced to 13 years in prison last Thursday after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing his mothers girlfriend, the Queens district attorneys office said.
During the two-day sentencing hearing in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens before Judge Robert Hanophy, both sides agreed that the defendant, Luis Perez, of 63-46 Forest Ave., suffered delusions that led him to stab the victim, 43-year-old Juanita Hernandez, numerous times in the arm and chest.
The defendant, even though he was mentally ill at the time of the crime, was found to be responsible for his brutal actions, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. The sentence imposed by the court reflects the seriousness of the crime.
Perez could have received from as few as eight to as many as 15 years in prison.
According to trial testimony, Perez, who was 19 at the time, stabbed Hernandez with a 6-inch kitchen knife on Jan. 23, 2001 because he believed she had sexually assaulted him. Perez himself called police following the incident.
He pleaded guilty June 10 to a charge of first-degree manslaughter.
The killing shocked residents and neighbors of the quiet street on which Perez lived with his mother, Rosa Rosa, then 45.
Hilda Horn, who lived a few doors down from the defendant, told the TimesLedger shortly after the attack that she did not know him but frequently saw the family.
Its surprising to hear about it on your block, she said. I feel bad about it, especially the mother. Her son is now charged with murder and she is without her lover.
Nevertheless, there has been a decline in reported murders in the area.
The killing of Hernandez was one of three reported in the 104th Precinct, which covers the communities of Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village, during the first half of 2001. So far in 2003, there has been only one reported incident. In 2002, there were three murders during the entire calendar year.
Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.
©2003 Community News Group
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