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Man Who Butchered His Estranged Wife in Jackson Heights Hair Salon Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter: DA

Carmen Iris Santiago (Facebook) and Google Maps Dec. 2017


A Corona man who stabbed his estranged wife to death inside a Jackson Heights nail salon earlier this year has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison, the Queens District Attorney announced today.

William Rivas, 39, stabbed his estranged wife Carmen Iris Santiago in front of terrified onlookers at Tu S’tilo Salon and Spa, at 93-05 37th Ave., after arguing with her shortly before 7 p.m. on Aug. 7.

According to court documents, Rivas entered the salon where Santiago worked but was kicked out by the owner after the pair began to argue. Rivas then barged in again and this time pulled out a long knife and began stabbing her in the chest.

Police, who responded to the scene, found Rivas laying on top of his bleeding estranged wife. Santiago, the mother of two children, was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died from the injuries.

“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,” said Acting Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan. “The defendant admitted to this brutal crime today and he will spend decades locked behind bars as punishment for his actions.”

Rivas pleaded guilty today to first-degree manslaughter before Queens Supreme Court Justice David Kirschner. Justice Kirschner set sentencing for Feb. 7, 2020, and indicated that he would order the defendant to a determinate term of 25 years in prison, to be followed by 5 years’ post release supervision.

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Lady Liberty

Manslaughter? Don’t understand. The man showed up with a “long knife.” Wouldn’t that indicate premeditation?

Mark Tully

Plea deals are so common that our prosecutors lack court experience. They gave him the plea deal in order to avoid the risk of bungling the prosecution and losing the case.


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