A 27-year-old Queens man has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for stabbing his roommate’s friend in the heart in January 2010, following a verbal misunderstanding that escalated into a physical fight.
Former Richmond Hill resident Luis Zeledon, 27, who has been in jail since his arrest in January 2010, entered his guilty plea before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak. The judge set sentencing for December 14, 2011, indicating he would send Zeledon to state prison for 10 years.
District Attorney Richard Brown said, “… the defendant has proven himself unfit for society, and the prison term to be imposed is more than warranted.”
According to the criminal charges, Zeledon shared a first-floor apartment on 123rd Street with his girlfriend and a roommate, Marlon Montalvan. On the evening of Jan. 19, 2010, the three roommates were hanging out at their apartment with 28-year-old Andy Herrera, a friend of Montalvan. Zeledon and his girlfriend went to bed and at some point the defendant thought he heard Montalvan say something disparaging about him.
Exiting the bedroom, Zeledon began verbally arguing with Montalvan in the kitchen. He then picked up two large kitchen knives by the sink and used one to cut Montalvan on the forearm.
In coming to the aid of his friend, Herrera used the chair in which he had been sitting as a shield. Zeledon stabbed Herrera one time in the chest. Herrera dropped the chair and ran out of the apartment, collapsing in the building’s vestibule. Herrera died soon after his arrival at Jamaica Hospital.