Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that John Daves, 34, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter for the September 2018 stabbing death of a 25-yearold Long Island man. The two men had a heated dispute near a food cart in Jackson Heights, Queens.

District Attorney Katz said, “A disagreement between two strangers escalated to a senseless killing of an unarmed man. The defendant pleaded guilty to chasing down the victim and brutally stabbing him to death. I hope this gives the family of the victim some comfort, knowing their loved one’s killer has been held accountable.”

Daves, whose address is unknown, pleaded guilty in December 2020 to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. Today Justice Holder sentenced the defendant to 17 years in prison to be followed by 5 years’ post release supervision.

District Attorney Katz said Daves admitted to killing Miguel Angel Becerra-Perez shortly after 9:30p.m. on September 27, 2018, at the intersection of 80th Street and Roosevelt Avenue. The two strangers got into an argument while waiting in line for their food at a a food cart vendor. The confrontation escalated and the defendant grabbed a knife from the food cart. Video surveillance of the scene shows the defendant chasing the 25-year-old victim down the street. Daves caught up to Becerra-Perez and stabbed him in the right arm and chest. Mr. Becerra-Perez died from the wounds.

Assistant District Attorney Courtney Finnerty, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Adarna DeFrietas, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, Bureau Chief, Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John W. Kosinski and Kenneth M. Appelbaum, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.