A Long Island man who was convicted of fatally stabbing a 22-year-old man outside an Elmhurst nightclub was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison last week.
John Lundi, 26, was convicted last month of murder and assault charges. According to police reports, Christopher Cotto, 22, and his girlfriend Tiffany Lebron were leaving a club on Queens Boulevard around 4 a.m. in November 2008. At that time, Lundi allegedly made a remark to Lebron, which led to a confrontation between the two men.
Cotto began fighting with Lundi, who had several friends join him in a gang assault of Cotto and his girlfriend. During the fight, Lundi stabbed Cotto with a butterfly knife in the chest.
Police officers quickly apprehended Lundi and two other individuals—brothers Adam and Alex Hawrylkiewicz—and found the butterfly knife used in the attack.
In August, the two brothers pleaded guilty to second-degree gang assault. Another defendant, Sarah Kurman, pleaded guilty on December 2009 to attempted gang assault. All three are presently awaiting sentencing.
“The crimes of which the defendant has been convicted were senseless and vicious and perpetrated by an individual who chose a weapon over words,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said after the sentencing of Lundi. “I hope that the surviving victim and the deceased’s family can find some measure of solace in today’s sentence and in the knowledge that the defendant will be behind bars for many years as punishment for his actions.”