Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that a Queens man has been sentenced to prison for manslaughter in the stabbing death of his estranged wife inside of a Jackson Heights nail salon during the early evening hours in August of 2019. The defendant entered the salon – where the victim worked – and repeatedly plunged a knife into the woman’s torso.

District Attorney Katz said, “Today’s sentence of the court punishes this defendant for committing this fatal domestic violence attack against his estranged wife, whom he repeatedly stabbed in front of horrified onlookers at her workplace.”

The District Attorney’s Office identified the defendant as William Rivas, 39, of Corona, Queens. Rivas pleaded guilty today to manslaughter in the first-degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice David Kirschner, who today imposed the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison to be followed by 5 years’ post release supervision.

District Attorney Katz said that, according to the charges, shortly before 7 p.m. on August 7, 2019, Rivas entered Tu S’tilo Salon and Spa, on 37th Avenue, and approached his estranged wife, Carmen Iris Santiago. The defendant began to argue with the 35-year-old woman until the owner of the shop escorted him out of the salon. A few moments later, however, the defendant barged back in and this time pulled out a long knife. He repeatedly stabbed the victim in her chest. Police, who responded to the scene, found the defendant on top of his bleeding wife. Ms. Santiago, the mother of 2 children, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she died.

Assistant District Attorney John W. Kosinski, Deputy Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau prosecuted the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Bryan Kotowski, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, Bureau Chief, Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, and Kenneth M. Appelbaum, Deputy Bureau Chief, 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.