A Queens handyman hasto the killing of a 51-year-old mother who was found dismembered in a duffel bag earlier this year. On Wednesday, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that 44-year-old David Bonola pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the slaying of .
According to a statement from Katz, shortly after midnight on April 16, Bonola, a handyman who had previously worked at Gaal’s residence, went to her home, where she had just returned from a night out. The two got into an argument and he slashed her throat and proceeded to stab her more than 50 times, the statement said.
Katz did not elaborate on why Bonola had gone to the residence. At the time of Bonola’s arrest, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said that he and Gaal had been in an “off-and-on” relationship for at least two years. The two allegedly reunited early in the month of April, but their relationship was considered at an end at the time of Gaal’s death, the police said.
At approximately 4:15 am, Bonola was captured on a neighbor’s surveillance camera wheeling a duffel bag. The bag was found in a nearby park about four hours later with Gaal’s dismembered body inside, prosecutors said. Police followed the trail of blood to Gaal’s home where they discovered the murder weapon, prosecutors said. Police also discovered Bonola’s jacket at the park where the duffel bag was found, according to prosecutors.
When Bonola spoke to police days later he made “incriminating statements” and revealed that he had gone to a local hospital to treat a cut on his hand, prosecutors said. Bonola also stated that he and Gaal had argued and confessed to stabbing and moving her body, prosecutors said.
“This heinous killing devastated an entire family, left two boys without a mother, and horrified the surrounding community,” Katz said in a statement. “I want to thank my prosecutors for their exhaustive efforts in securing this plea.”
“In pleading guilty, the defendant has accepted responsibility and is being held fully accountable for his criminal actions,” Katz added. “We express our sincerest condolences to the victim’s family and hope that today’s plea will allow them to begin to heal.”
Bonola is set to be sentenced to 25 years in prison followed by five years post-release supervision on November 16, prosecutors said.
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