Jonathan Gonzales-Alvarez Convicted by Jury for Murdering Bar Employee

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the conviction of JONATHAN GONZALES-ALVAREZ, 23, for fatally stabbing a security guard at a restaurant and bar in Washington Heights after the bar’s employees asked him to quiet down. A jury in New York State Supreme Court found GONZALES-ALVAREZ guilty of all of the charges in the indictment: Murder in the Second Degree and Gang Assault in the First Degree. The defendant will be sentenced on February 15, 2012.

“A father of two young boys lost his life merely because he asked the defendant to quiet down at a bar,” said District Attorney Vance. “I thank the jurors for their service in this case.”

As proven at trial, on October 27, 2009, GONZALES-ALVAREZ was at La Casa Del Mofongo, a bar in Washington Heights that was hosting a late night karaoke and dance contest. When GONZALES-ALVAREZ became rowdy, the bar’s employees asked him to quiet down. GONZALES-ALVAREZ then punched the bar’s security guard, Arsene Epouta, in the face and stabbed him with a switchblade multiple times in the back, right thigh, abdomen, and heart. Epouta was later pronounced dead at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

A separately charged defendant, LUIS ALMANZAR, 23, is facing manslaughter charges in a pending case.

Assistant District Attorneys Jeffrey Levinson and Amy Sharpe prosecuted the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Warren Murray, Chief of Trial Bureau 50.

Defendant Information:

Bronx, NY

• Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, 1 count
• Gang Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count


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