A Yonkers bodega employee who fatally stabbed a customer in April 2012 during an argument was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in state prison after admitting his role in the crime, officials said.
Francisco Javier Vasquez, 38, of 914 Simpson St. in the Bronx, was sentenced by acting State Supreme Court Justice Richard Molea after admitting to two counts of felony manslaughter and one count of felony weapons possession in the death of Yonkers resident Rodney Jackson, 45, said Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.
The bodega's owner, Kervin Ortiz, 44, of 1515 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, was sentenced April 4 to six months in Westchester County Jail and placed on 4 1/2 years' probation after pleading guilty to felony second-degree assault in the incident, according to a spokesman in the DA's office.
Vasquez had faced a maximum of 25 years and Ortiz a maximum of seven years in state prison.
Jackson was walking home on April 8, 2012, with family and friends when he stopped in Luz Deli on South Broadway for a soda as those with him continued walking. An argument began between Jackson and Ortiz, officials said. It's unclear what sparked the disagreement, but it quickly turned violent.
Ortiz told Jackson to leave the store, and Jackson challenged Ortiz to come out into the street and fight there, officials said. Jackson left but returned a few moments later and began to throw items around the store, witnesses told authorities.
Ortiz then picked up a metal baseball bat he kept behind the counter, followed Jackson back outside the store and swung at him, striking him and falling to the sidewalk himself, officials said. Vasquez then stabbed Jackson once in the buttocks, prosecutors said.
The people who had been walking with Jackson returned to the area and dialed 911, officials said.
Jackson died the next morning at Saint Joseph's Medical Center in Yonkers. Prosecutors said they pieced together the sequence of events by talking to witnesses and reviewing footage from surveillance cameras mounted by nearby shops.
Vasquez and Ortiz were arrested two days after the incident.
Vasquez's attorney, Jaime Santana of Middletown, said his client expressed remorse for his actions in the courtroom.
"Obviously, it's a sad thing when a life is lost," Santana said before declining to comment further.
Attorney information for Ortiz was not available Tuesday.