A Bronx man, Daniel Abrego Davila, 33, was convicted of murder on Nov. 27 for the stabbing death of a 39-year old landscaper outside a Hempstead bar in April 2016.
Davila was convicted of murder in the second degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (an A misdemeanor). The trial, before Judge Helene Gugerty, lasted approximately a month and the jury deliberated for two hours. He is due back for sentencing Jan. 4, 2019 and faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.
According to District Attorney Madeline Singas, on April 10, 2016, shortly after 1 a.m., Rolando Cruz from Freeport was leaving the Nuevo Arco Iris bar on Fulton Avenue in Hempstead. As the Cruz was leaving the bar, Davila and his two friends — William Lopez, 36 from Hempstead and Jorge Poshon, 31 from Freeport, were attempting to get into the bar but were refused entry by a bouncer. After an exchange of words between the Cruz and the three men, Cruz was corralled and a physical confrontation ensued.
Davila used a knife to stab Cruz approximately five times in the neck, torso, arm and back. The Cruz collapsed on the sidewalk in front of the bar and taken by ambulance to Winthrop Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m. that morning. Davila fled the scene and took the murder weapon. The Hempstead Police Department and Nassau County Police Department arrested him on Feb. 19, 2016 in Hempstead.
Lopez pled guilty to gang assault, according to his attorney, Anthony Rattoballi. Rattoballi also said he expects his client to get a 5-year prison term when he is sentenced.
Patrick Haughey, Esq. represents the Davila, but was not available for comment by press time Wednesday morning.
–Compiled by Nadya Nataly