A Medford woman admitted Thursday that she stabbed her boyfriend in the heart while arguing about a pregnancy she had been faking.
Cynthia Dean, 34, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in return for a promise from Suffolk County Court Judge John Toomey Jr. to sentence her to 8 years in prison.
During questioning by Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock, she said she intended to seriously injure Melvin Garcia, 48, when she stabbed him. Kurtzrock said his office nevertheless will ask for a sentence of 12 years.
In court, Dean glanced at three of Garcia's daughters, who had driven two hours from New Jersey to see the plea. One muttered, "Yeah, we're here."
Afterward, daughter Yvonne Marion Garcia said Dean had tricked her father into moving from Brooklyn to Medford with her by claiming she was pregnant. They moved into a house on Granny Road so there would be room for a child that never was going to come, she said.
The argument that ended in Melvin Garcia's death lasted for a few days and started when he asked Dean to stop smoking for the sake of the child, the daughters said.
"He called me an hour before he died" during that argument, said another daughter, Mildred Marion Garcia. He said he had to get out of the relationship, she said, adding that they had been together less than a year.
Kurtzrock said Dean was never charged with murder in the Nov. 6, 2011, slaying because police and prosecutors could not have proved she intended to kill Garcia.
Because Dean has a felony record of selling drugs, 8 years is the minimum she can get for manslaughter. The maximum is 25 years.
Garcia's daughters told Kurtzrock afterward that they were upset with the plea deal, and he tried to explain there were some benefits to it for them.
"At trial, the defense would have dragged your dad's name through the mud, saying he beat her," Kurtzrock told the daughters. "There's never a happy outcome in cases like this. I know how you feel." Dean had told police she acted in self-defense.
Defense attorney Bryan Browns of the Legal Aid Society declined to comment.
Later, the daughters reminisced about an affectionate father who was always available to them, whether it was listening to one of them complain about a boyfriend, play pool with another or even do their hair when they were little.
"He was always around," Yvonne Marion Garcia said.