A New York man flew into a rage and killed the friend of his lover after she came to her aid.
Now, he will spend decades behind bars.
Earlier this month, Bronx Supreme Court Judge Margaret Clancy sentenced Daquan Wheeler, 34, to 27 years to life in prison for the beating and strangulating death of Lisa Marie Velasquez, 25. A jury found Wheeler guilty and convicted him of murder and other charges.
On Aug. 23, 2018, Wheeler’s girlfriend and the mother of his child, Ciara Martinez, called Velasquez over to the couple’s Foxhurst apartment for advice. Martinez and the defendant had been in a tumultuous relationship.
According to prosecutors, Velasquez called 911 to report an issue of domestic abuse between Wheeler and Martinez after an argument. Soon after, Wheeler flew into a rage and bludgeoned Velasquez by hitting her in the head at least 14 times with a hammer. Then, he wrapped a cord around her neck and strangled her.
The defendant and Martinez bought a machete and some garbage bags at a store to dismember Velasquez and dispose of her remains. A couple of days later, tourists found the victim’s arms and feet in three garbage bags at Barretto Point Park in Hunts Point, New York. Her head and torso were also found in two other bags at another park.
“It was a horrifying series of acts against a woman who had come to the aid of her friend, who lived with the defendant,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, according to Ney York Post.
During the sentencing hearing, Wheeler apologized to the victim’s family while claiming he was innocent of the crime. Furthermore, he also claimed not to be present at the apartment during the commission of the crime.
However, the jury and family members did not buy his story. Martinez, who turned state witness, had testified against her boyfriend and recalled the accounts leading to the brutal murder on the stand. In addition, her testimony aligned with corroborating evidence submitted by prosecutors.
“I think he lies even when he apologizes, he still lies. My niece didn’t serve this,” said Velasquez’s auntJackie Perez, according to New York Daily News.
In exchange for the testimony, Martinez pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of conspiracy and was sentenced to time served.
Velasquez, who had aspired to become a police officer, also witnessed the murder of her mother, Marilyn Ginel, by her ex-boyfriend when she was 12 years old.