Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Carmelo Mendoza pleaded guilty to murder in the fatal stabbing of his wife during an argument inside their Jackson Heights apartment in July 2020.

District Attorney Katz said: “This argument, which turned deadly, was a horrific ordeal unfortunately witnessed by the victim’s 19-year-old daughter, who tried in vain to stop the brutal attack. I hope this resolution brings the grieving family some closure.”

Mendoza, 44, of 34th Road in Jackson Heights, pleaded guilty yesterday to murder in the second degree. Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis indicated that he will sentence Mendoza on May 11 to an indeterminate term of 18 years to life in prison.

According to the charges:

  • On July 3, 2020, in the early morning, Mendoza argued with his wife, Yaquelin Collado, 45, in their bedroom. The fight continued into a hallway and eventually into the kitchen.
  • After hearing her mother’s screams, the victim’s 19-year-old daughter immediately rushed toward the couple and saw Mendoza stab her mother repeatedly in the chest, neck and torso. The young woman attempted to stop the defendant by throwing items at him and tried to push him off her mother.
  • Mendoza fell to the floor and got back up and continued to stab Collado. The victim said to her daughter in Spanish, “I’m dying, get out of here.” The daughter, who injured her leg as she tried to intervene, ran out of the apartment and began banging on her neighbors’ doors, screaming for help. She then called her boyfriend and 911.
  • When police entered the apartment, they found Mendoza lying on top of Collado who was in a pool of blood with a kitchen knife nearby. The defendant stabbed himself numerous times in the abdomen.
  • Collado and the defendant were both taken to a local hospital where, as result of approximately 27 knife wounds, Collado was pronounced dead. The defendant was treated for self-inflicted injuries.

Assistant District Attorney Timothy Shortt of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Peter J. McCormack III  and John W. Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Shawn Clark.

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