A sailor on a cargo vessel was reportedly sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on Monday for stabbing his supervisor to death off the LA coast during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A Filipino national named Michael Monegro pleaded guilty in May 2022 to stabbing Manolito Santillan almost 31 times in both the body and face with a pair of knives that he reportedly wielded in both hands, the Office of the US Attorney for the Central District of California mentioned.
The unexpected impact of the defendant’s conduct can’t be overstated; prosecutors reportedly got into an argument through a sentencing memorandum.
Monegro’s murder of MS left behind the wife and daughter of the deceased, who was 17 when the murder happened.
M.S. was the only breadwinner for his family, and the death caused immense financial strain on the immediate family members.
The US District Judge Dale S. Fischer mentioned Monegro’s actions were abnormally heinous, brutal, and cruel.
He was also charged with committing violence against an individual on a vessel that was likely to endanger the vessel’s safe navigation.
The September 2020 murder occurred about a year before the ongoing pandemic’s supply chain crisis hit the peak of 100 vessels waiting in the waters of Southern California for unloading cargo.
Crew members are reportedly confined to vessels for months, often leading to severe mental distress.
Cargo Vessel Sailor Pleads Guilty To Tragic Stabbing
The MSC Ravenna, a 153-ton Liberian-flagged vessel, was about 80 miles off the coast finishing up a two-week journey from Shanghai.
Monegro has begun arguing with Santillan in a hallway outside the ship’s locker room, saying he was the one who destroyed his family. Reportedly, Monegro had started the attack, knocking Santillan to the ground and climbing on top of him. Several crew members witnessed this. At one point, the crew members heard Santillan ask Michael what was happening. He also added that he hoped that the Lord would forgive him.
Someone threw a trash can at Monegro to stop the attack, and he was ultimately restrained but not long until after Santillan had lost his life. The US attorney’s office reportedly mentioned that Monegro had stopped stabbing the victim when he became exhausted to go on.
The ship’s captain reportedly convinced Monegro to walk to a conference room and keep the knives on a table.
After that, he was locked in a cabin until the vessel could dock, the US attorney’s office stated.
References: US News, ABC News