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Cops: East Hampton man stabs wife to death

David Soto, 41, leaves his arraignment at East

David Soto, 41, leaves his arraignment at East Hampton Town Court. / Photo by Doug Kuntz / August 1, 2009

An East Hampton home with a history of domestic trouble was the scene of a killing when a man stabbed his estranged wife to death and then tried to take his own life, Suffolk police said Friday.

The 11-year-old son of David and Blanca Soto called 911 Thursday night and said, "My father stabbed my mother," said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick of the Suffolk homicide squad.

The call brought East Hampton town police to a trailer in the East Hampton Mobile Home Park at about 10:20 p.m. Blanca Soto, 29, was in the living room bleeding from stab wounds. She was taken to Southampton Hospital, where she died, police said.

The couple's two boys, ages 9 and 11, were in the home during the attack and when officers arrived. They were not hurt.

Minutes later, East Hampton town and village police located David Soto, 41, in his car a few blocks away. He was bleeding from a self-inflicted cut to his neck, Fitzpatrick said. The cut was not life-threatening; he was taken to Southampton Hospital. He was later discharged and was to be held overnight for arraignment Saturday on a charge of second degree murder.

David Soto lives with his mother, his 18-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and Myrna Vargas, 44, a family friend, in the same mobile home complex, Vargas and police said.

At some point Thursday evening David Soto went to Blanca Soto's home, where he lived until recently, police said. At about 10:30 p.m., he called his daughter and said he was bleeding, Vargas said. A short time later he called back and said, "I love you, you know I love you. The police are here," she said.

"I'm still in shock. I don't believe he did that," Vargas said. "He's a nice guy. He works hard to support the three kids."

East Hampton police have been called to the Soto home several times for domestic disturbances; detectives were reviewing the reports Friday, police said.

About a year ago, David Soto, who runs a landscaping business, was arrested on a harassment charge, and an East Hampton Town Justice Court judge issued an order of protection on behalf of Blanca Soto. The order expired July 22.

The argument that triggered the attack was over David Soto's ability to see the boys, Fitzpatrick said.

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