The suspect charged with the stabbing death of 30-year-old Ricardo Dasilva pleaded guilty today to voluntary manslaughter as part of a plea deal.
Tammy Mathis-Lawrence, 42, waived her right to a preliminary hearing and a trial relating to the January 23 homicide.
The murder took place in the 2800 block of Douglass Place, SE a little after 8 a.m. on Jan. 23, when Lawrence and Dasilva, who was a tenant living in her home, became engaged in an argument over living arrangements.
According to the prosecution’s evidence planned to be presented if the case went to trial, Lawrence and Dasilva argued in Dasilva’s bedroom before the argument moved to Lawrence’s room. Lawrence then stabbed Dasilva in the neck with a pair of scissors. In court documents Lawrence stated that she was upset that her tenants “weren’t pulling their weight,” which led to her conversation with Dasilva. Dasilva was unarmed at the time of the incident and he died at the scene.
Dasilva’s mother was present in the courtroom Thursday and became emotional when Lawrence stated her plea.
The defense and prosecution agreed on a 6-8 year prison sentence and the possibility of a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for voluntary manslaughter is 30 years. Judge Milton C. Lee said that he will need 60 days to accept the plea.
Recent motions for Lawrence to enter a halfway house failed, and she will remain in custody without bail until her sentencing on October 21.