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Man Sentenced For Fatal Stabbing Of Co-Worker At Westchester Restaurant

Francisco Smile Nicasio-Ramirez, 23, in court. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office
Francisco Smile Nicasio-Ramirez, 23. Photo Credit: Yonkers Police Department

A 23-year-old man will spend more than a decade in prison after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing his co-worker at a Westchester restaurant.

Queens resident Francisco Smile Nicasio-Ramirez has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon dating back to an incident at the Dia and Noche restaurant on McLean Avenue in Yonkers last October. He pleaded guilty on May 23.

Nicasio-Ramirez and his victim, Rafael Pena, 54, were working at the restaurant on Oct. 17 last year, when an argument broke out between the two men, according to Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr.

Nicasio-Ramirez pleaded guilty to grabbing a kitchen knife and stabbing Pena, who was taken to a local hospital by a third co-worker, where he was pronounced dead later that night.

Westchester County Court Judge Barry Warhit called the murder “senseless.”

Pena’s family was in court for the sentencing, and asked that a letter written by his sister be read out loud.

During the impact statement, she “reminded the court that her brother left behind an adolescent son, and told the defendant, despite what happened.”

“I do not want to hold onto vengeance. Vengeance you leave to God,” she said, adding that “she hoped the defendant ‘will transform himself into a good person.’ "

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