Man Found Guilty of Killing WaHi Karaoke Club Bouncer Arsene Epouta
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A Bronx man has been found guilty of killing a karaoke club bouncer who had tried to toss him out of the Washington Heights bar, prosecutors said Thursday.
Jonathan Gonzales-Alvarez, 23, fatally stabbed La Casa Del Mofongo employee Arsene Epouta, 40, on Oct. 27, 2009, when staffers said Gonzales-Alvarez lashed out after taking offense to men dancing on stage in front of him at the St. Nicholas Avenue karaoke joint.
Epouta ordered Gonzales-Alvarez to leave, but the hot-headed patron threw a punch instead and then plunged a knife into the bouncer's back, abdomen and heart, killing him.
“A father of two young boys lost his life merely because he asked the defendant to quiet down at a bar," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement, following his conviction on second-degree murder and gang assault charges.
Gonzales-Alvarez's trial opened two weeks ago in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Luis Almanzar is also charged with manslaughter in connection to the case. Prosecutors say Almanzar held Epouta still while Gonzales-Alvarez attacked him.
Gonzales-Alvarez faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison when he's sentenced Feb. 15.
Almanzar's case remains open.