Defendant: Francisco Smile Nicasio-Ramirez (DOB 01/23/95)

Aug. 8, 2018 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. today announced Francisco Smile Nicasio-Ramirez of Queens was sentenced to 14 years in state prison in the stabbing death of a co-worker at a Yonkers restaurant in October 2017, a killing characterized by the court as “senseless.”

Westchester County Court Judge Barry Warhit sentenced Nicasio-Ramirez to 14 years for Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class B violent felony, and one year for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor. Both sentences will run concurrently (at the same time). He pleaded guilty on both counts May 23, 2018.

The defendant and 54-year-old Rafael Pena were working together in the kitchen of Dia & Noche, a Latin restaurant at 640 McLean Avenue, Yonkers, October 17, 2017, when an argument broke out over water being splashed around 4:50 p.m.

Nicasio-Ramirez grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Pena. Pena was taken to a local hospital by another co-worker where he died later that night. Nicasio-Ramirez was arrested at the scene.

The family of Rafael Pena, was in the court for sentencing and asked that a letter written by the victim’s sister be read aloud. In her impact statement on behalf of the entire family, 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.” And she said, she hoped the defendant “will transform himself into a good person.”

Judge Warhit thanked the family for their words and reminded the defendant of how “senseless” a killing this was as he passed sentence.

Assistant District Attorney James Bavero of the Superior Court Trial Division prosecuted the case.

image of Francisco Smile Nicasio-Ramirez with attorney and translator

Francisco Smile Nicasio-Ramirez

 In compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.6, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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