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Hempstead man arraigned on charges he fatally slashed girlfriend, prosecutors say

Alan R. Espinoza, 26, of Hempstead, is led

Alan R. Espinoza, 26, of Hempstead, is led out of Nassau County police headquarters in Mineola on Monday, June 22, 2014. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A man accused of murdering his girlfriend by slashing her neck after an argument in their Hempstead apartment pleaded not guilty Wednesday following a grand jury indictment.

Prosecutors said Alan Espinoza, 26, remains jailed without bail on charges of second-degree murder and weapon possession in connection with the June death of Neyvin Espinal, 24.

Espinal worked as a waitress in a Hempstead cafe, and sent money home to her family in Honduras, which included her 7-year-old daughter, her former boss has said.

Police have said Espinoza and Espinal, whose body a female roommate found June 20 before calling 911, had been dating for a couple of months and living together about a month. Authorities have alleged the defendant used a "razor blade-type of cutter" to kill the victim.

Nassau acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement Wednesday that Espinal's murder was an example of the "horrific consequences" of domestic violence, and her office would work to make sure the defendant "pays a heavy price."

Espinoza's attorney, Joseph Lo Piccolo of Garden City, said he was investigating the case and planning a vigorous defense to the charges.

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