A homeless man indicted on charges that he stabbed a Long Islander to death with a knife from a food cart vendor pleaded not guilty Monday, prosecutors said Monday.
John Daves, 33, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder charges in connection with the September 27, 2018 Jackson Heights stabbing of Miguel Angel Becerra-Perez, 25, of Riverhead. Daves was arraigned Monday on the indictment at Queens Supreme Court before Justice Kenneth C. Holder.
“The defendant grabbed the knife from the food cart and literally chased down the victim and allegedly stabbed him to death,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown in a release. Brown said the two, who were waiting for food from the cart, had argued shortly before the attack.
Daves’ lawyer, David Cohen, said the evidence told a fuller story: “This incident was an unfortunate event started by the deceased, who attacked Mr. Daves with a metal object.”
Daves was “defending himself” after the argument escalated, Cohen said.
In a court filing from Brown’s office that included statements Daves made to the authorities on Sept. 28, 2018, Daves said to Assistant District Attorney Adarna De Frietas that he had argued with Becerra-Perez at the food cart.
"His food was done before mine and the old man was telling him his food is done, but I guess he wasn't paying attention, so I said to him, Guy, listen your food is done buddy. He got upset and came up to me and started theatening me," the statement said.
Daves said that Becerra-Perez became enraged, brandished a piece of metal and chased him, threatening to kill him. “So I grabbed the knife and I chased him, while he still has the piece of metal in his hands. I grabbed him and pulled him to the floor and I stabbed him,” Daves said in the statement.
Holder ordered Daves be remanded and return to court May 21.