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Long IslandCrime

Deer Park man pleads not guilty to fatal stabbing

Christopher Chavez, 21, of Deer Park, is led

Christopher Chavez, 21, of Deer Park, is led from the First Precinct in Lindenhurst on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, to be arraigned on charges in the death of Marlon Velasquez, 25, of Brentwood, Suffolk County police said. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

A 25-year-old man who was fatally stabbed in Deer Park suffered deep wounds to the head and chest before bleeding to death in a homeowner’s driveway, Suffolk County prosecutors said Saturday.

The victim, Marlon Velasquez of Brentwood, was found Thursday afternoon in a driveway off Old Country Road in Deer Park.

On Friday, police arrested Christopher Chavez, 21, of Deer Park, and charged him with first-degree manslaughter.

At his arraignment Saturday, Chavez pleaded not guilt to the charge.

Prosecutors said Chavez and Velasquez got into a dispute early Thursday, although the circumstances of the dispute remain unclear.

Velasquez was stabbed repeatedly in the chest and head with a kitchen knife, prosecutors said. One stab wound punctured his skull and brain, while another pierced his lung and aorta, causing Velasquez to rapidly bleed to death.

Investigators believe Velasquez was stabbed inside Chavez’s home and then attempted to flee, collapsing in the driveway of another home. Police do not believe the stabbing was gang-related.

Velasquez was in Chavez’s kitchen, both his attorney, George Duncan of Central Islip, and police said, though Duncan said his client did not know Velasquez.

Judge James McDonaugh in First District Court set bail for Chavez at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond.

Prosecutors said that once in custody, Chavez provided written, oral and video confessions. In an apparent attempt to hide evidence, he told authorities he threw the knife and Velasquez’s belongings out the window of a car, prosecutors said.

Chavez was on probation related to a larceny charge at the time of the killing, authorities said.

Duncan maintained his client’s innocence, describing Chavez as a “good kid.”

Chavez lives at the home in Deer Park with his parents and younger brothers — 10-year-old twins — the lawyer said.

“The family is devastated,” Duncan added.

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