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Jackson Heights man faces life in prison after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing wife in 2020: DA

A Jackson Heights man is facing life in prison after he pleaded guilty to stabbing his wife to death in 2020 while her daughter was in the next room. (File photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

April 27, 2023 By Bill Parry

A Jackson Heights man admitted he stabbed his wife to death during a 2020 argument in their 34th Road apartment while her daughter was in the next room, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office. Carmelo Mendoza, 44, pleaded guilty on April 26 to murder in the second degree in Queens Supreme Court.

According to the charges, in the early morning of July 3, 2020, Mendoza argued with his wife, Yaquelin Collado, 45, in their bedroom. The fight continued into a hallway and eventually into the kitchen. After hearing her mother’s screams, the victim’s 19-year-old daughter immediately rushed toward the couple and saw Mendoza stab her mother repeatedly in the chest, neck, and torso.

The young woman attempted to stop Mendoza by throwing items at him and tried to push him off her mother. Mendoza fell to the floor and got back up and continued to stab Collado. The victim said to her daughter in Spanish, “I’m dying, get out of here,” according to the charges. The daughter, who injured her leg as she tried to intervene, ran out of the apartment and began banging on her neighbors’ doors, screaming for help. She then called her boyfriend and 911.

When police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights arrived on the scene and entered the apartment, they discovered Mendoza lying on top of Collado who was in a pool of blood with a kitchen knife nearby, the charges state. Mendoza had stabbed himself numerous times in the abdomen.

EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed Collado and Mendoza to Elmhurst Hospital Center where, as a result of approximately 27 knife wounds, Collado was pronounced dead. The defendant was treated for self-inflicted injuries.

“This argument, which turned deadly, was a horrific ordeal unfortunately witnessed by the victim’s 19-year-old daughter, who tried in vain to stop the brutal attack,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “I hope this resolution brings the grieving family some closure.”

Mendoza pleaded guilty before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis, who indicated that he will sentence Mendoza on May 11 to an indeterminate term of 18 years to life in prison.

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