MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced today that a defendant has been arraigned on murder charges for stabbing a stranger to death on North Franklin Street in Hempstead in March 2020.
Westley Witts, 30, undomiciled, was arraigned today before Judge Terence Murphy on charges of Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony) and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (a D violent felony).
The defendant was remanded and is due back in court on June 4. If convicted of the top count, he faces a potential maximum of 25 years to life in prison.
“The defendant, while wielding a large sword-like serrated knife, allegedly stabbed a stranger to death in the middle of a Hempstead street,” DA Singas said. “This was a completely senseless act of violence, and thanks to numerous 911 callers and quick police action, this defendant was apprehended quickly and will be held responsible for his actions.”
DA Singas said that on March 7, 2020, at approximately 4:54 p.m., the defendant allegedly got into a physical altercation with the victim, 39-year old Julio Jesus Solano Alfonso, in front of a deli on North Franklin Street in Hempstead. The altercation moved across the street to a municipal parking lot where the defendant allegedly stabbed Alfonso one time with a large serrated knife, bisecting the victim’s liver.
The defendant ran toward Main Street in Hempstead and was apprehended shortly afterward in a laundromat by members of the Hempstead Police department. The victim was transported to NYU Winthrop Hospital and succumbed to his injuries at approximately 5:15 p.m.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Stefanie Palma of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting this case. Dana Grossblatt, Esq. represents the defendant.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.