QUEENS — A man who stabbed his common law wife to death and nearly decapitated her in front of witnesses on a Richmond Hill street early Monday morning has been charged with murder, authorities said.
Prem Rampersaud, 50, attacked Rajwantie Baldeo, 46, shortly after midnight, at the corner of 103rd Avenue and 124th Street.
Following a verbal argument, Rampersaud began slapping and choking her before pulling out the knife and stabbing her, police said.
Officers found the victim nearly decapitated with multiple stab wounds to the body and neck, officials said.
Witnesses told investigators that they saw Rampersaud sawing through his wife's neck, police said.
The victim was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said.
Rampersaud, who was taken into custody near where the stabbing took place, told investigators that less than a year ago he gave Baldeo $9,000 to come to the U.S. from Guyana.
He arrived in New York several months later and was temporarily staying with his friend in South Jamaica, when he found out that the victim was dating someone she met online, he told investigators.
He then purchased a long kitchen knife and waited for her to leave work at an Ozone Park restaurant on Sunday night, police sources said.
A knife believed to be the weapon used in the fatal stabbing was recovered at the scene, police said.
Rampersaud, who was awaiting arraignment Monday, has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, authorities said.
If convicted, Rampersaud faces up to 25 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.
“This was an especially violent crime in which the defendant is accused of viciously taking the life of the woman he purportedly loved by repeatedly stabbing her following a heated verbal argument," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
The investigation is ongoing, authorities said.