QUEENS, NY – Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jose Pichardo, 27, has been sentenced to up to life in prison on murder and other crimes for his participation in a botched home invasion that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old man. The victim was stabbed to death when the defendant and others broke into a South Richmond Hill home in November 2016.
District Attorney Katz said, “The victim in this case was in the wrong place at the wrong time, just playing video games at a friend’s house, when he was fatally attacked. Following the Court’s sentence, the defendant will spend a lengthy term incarcerated for this brutal act of violence.”
Pichardo, of Creston Avenue in the Bronx, was convicted earlier this month of murder in the second degree and two counts of burglary in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise. Yesterday, Justice Aloise imposed an indeterminate sentence of 18 years-to-life in prison on the murder charge and 10 years in prison on each burglary count which will run concurrently, to be followed by 5 years’ post release supervision.
According to trial records, at approximately 2 a.m. on November 30, 2016, Pichardo entered a home on 110th Street in South Richmond Hill, Queens with three others. The defendants had been told by a fifth co-defendant that the occupant of the home was a friend of her ex-boyfriend and that they could find Xanax pills, marijuana and cash inside.
DA Katz said, the defendants found Eddie Ventura, 20, in a bedroom playing video games with two others. Pichardo’s co-defendant Khalil Moses, who was armed with a knife, fought with Mr. Ventura and stabbed him numerous times in the back and thigh. Mr. Ventura died as a result of the stab wounds.
Defendant Moses pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree and was sentenced to 21 years in prison in September 2020. Pichardo’s brother John Pichardo pleaded guilty to burglary in the first degree and was sentenced in July 2020 to 15 years in prison. The cases against the fourth and fifth defendants are pending.
Deputy Bureau Chief Timothy J. Regan, of Felony Trial Bureau IV, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Bureau Chief Karen Rankin and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney Pishoy Yacoub of the Trial Division.