Hempstead man gets 20 to life for strangling, slitting girlfriend’s throat

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MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting District Attorney Joyce A. Smith announced that a Hempstead man was sentenced today to 20 years to life in prison for strangling his girlfriend to death and slitting her throat in an effort to conceal his conduct and mislead police that she had committed suicide. 

Sixto Tapia-Angeles, 28, of Hempstead, pleaded guilty before Judge Helene Gugerty on September 24, 2021, to murder in the second degree (an A-I felony). He was sentenced today to 20 years to life in prison. 

“After strangling his girlfriend to death, this defendant devised a haphazard and brutal plan to deceive police, slitting her throat and cutting his own wrist to conceal a murder and create the appearance of a double suicide attempt,” Acting DA Smith said. “His plan failed, and Tapia-Angeles now faces a life sentence for his crime.” 

Acting DA Smith said on March 21, 2020 at approximately 9:30 p.m., the defendant made a call to 911 saying that he was “dying.” When police responded to the Harriman Avenue home in Hempstead, they found Tapia-Angeles with lacerations to his wrist and his girlfriend, 19-year-old Maria Rodriguez-Perez, deceased in bed with her throat sliced. 

According to the investigation, the defendant initially told police that his girlfriend committed suicide, but later admitted that he had choked Rodriguez-Perez until she stopped moving, then slit her throat to make her death appear to be a suicide.  

The defendant’s wounds were determined to be superficial and self-inflicted as part of his attempt to make police believe he had tried to commit suicide as well. 

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Tapia-Angeles was arrested on March 22, 2020 by the Nassau County Police Department.