A Colombian national faces 50 years to life in prison following his conviction on Oct. 18 for the murder of a man in a Jackson Heights bar in 2007.
Carlos Sanchez, 35, was convicted on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree assault for fatally stabbing Robinson Lopez in the early-morning hours of Feb. 4 following an altercation inside of the Blue Lounge bar on Roosevelt Avenue.
A second man was slashed in the attack, for which Francisco Uribe, also from Colombia, is now serving 18 years. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in January and implicated Sanchez in Lopez’ death.
“The victims in this case were merely unsuspecting prey when the defendant and his accomplice pounced on them,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement issued by his office.
“The death of one man and the stabbing of another was senseless and shocking and, under the circumstances, the defendant deserves an appropriate and lengthy punishment to assure that the public is protected,” Brown added.
According to testimony at his trial, Sanchez and Uribe pulled up to the bar in a silver BMW just after 4 a.m. and waited for several patrons to leave before entering. Lopez, his friend Diokis Rosario and Rosario’s fiance were inside.
Sanchez and Uribe were ejected from the bar after getting into a fight with the barmaid.
Brown’s statement said Sanchez went to his car while Uribe waited on the sidewalk for Lopez to leave. The two men then followed Lopez, with Sanchez initially in his car, until Uribe attacked Lopez, who was walking a bit behind Rosario and his fiance.
Rosario jumped in to aid Lopez, at which point Uribe slashed him in the face. Sanchez then stabbed Lopez before both men fled.
Surgeons at Elmhurst General Hospital were unable to save Lopez, who the medical examiner said, sustained two stab wounds to the chest, including one to his heart.