Man sentenced in Lancaster City stabbing death
LANCASTER, Pa. – Ernie Rivera-Gonzalez pleaded guilty in Lancaster County Court to third-degree murder in the October 5, 2014, stabbing of 31-year-old Alex Vazquez-Dones on Stevens Avenue.
Rivera-Gonzalez, 29, will serve 14 to 35 years in state prison, in accordance with a plea agreement arranged by Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson.
County Judge Jeffery Wright accepted the plea and ordered sentence.
In court, Rivera-Gonzalez turned to Vazquez-Dones’ family and asked for forgiveness.
“It should’ve never happened. Forgive me,” he said through an interpreter. “I know it’s difficult because you’ve lost a son. I would ask with all my heart to forgive. It was never my intention.”
Karen Lopez, Vazquez-Dones’ cousin, said the family can’t forgive yet.
“It would be a lie to tell you we forgive you for what you’ve done,” Lopez said. “But one day, we will. Because we are not bad people.
“We just want this to be over.”
Wilson told the judge that Rivera-Gonzalez left his wallet, with photo identification inside, at the stabbing scene. Witnesses told police the man in the photo was the person who stabbed Vazquez-Dones.
Vazquez-Dones died at Lancaster General Hospital of a single stab wound to the chest.
Rivera-Gonzalez was arrested by deputy U.S. Marshals in Connecticut eleven days later.