A Port Chester man has pleaded guilty to the stabbing death of another Port Chester man in the village after an argument on Poningo Street in February.
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said Julio Cortez, 53, of 66 Poningo St., Port Chester, admitted to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class “B” Violent Felony.
In April, Cortez was arraigned on a three count indictment charging him with:
- one count of Murder in the Second Degree, a class “A-1” Violent Felony,
- one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class “B” Violent Felony,
- one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a class “A” Misdemeanor
He admitted to the of killing 23-year-old on Feb. 7. Cortez was arrested on Feb. 15 and is being held in the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla.
The charges stem from an early-morning incident on Feb. 7. At about 3:55 a.m. Port Chester police received a 911 call for a probel in the area of 125 and 131 Poningo St.
When the patrol officer arrived, he discovered the body of Guirachocha, lying face down on the steps to the entrance of 131 Poningo St..
When the officer turned the man over, he saw blood and a stab wound in the area of the heart. Emergency medical personnel were contacted and the victim was later pronounced dead.
In their investigation, police located a large kitchen knife nearby and recovered surveillance video from the two buildings. Detectives discovered that the two men had argued prior to the stabbing. Police believe that Guirachocha had hit Cortez in a previous incident and Cortez was looking to get even with the younger man on the night of the slaying.
Cortez, who police said is a day laborer, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 27. Assistant District Attorney Kristina Dushaj of the Major Case Bureau is prosecuting the case.