On November 18, 2020, Tiquan Underwood, 21, entered a guilty plea in Ulster County Court on the charge of Manslaughter in the First Degree.
During the virtual court proceeding, Underwood admitted that he intended to cause serious injury to Jomar Gonzalez, 24, and caused Gonzalez’s death on December 3. Underwood stabbed Gonzalez during an altercation between the two in a driveway near Route 209 in the Town of Wawarsing at approximately 9 p.m. on that date.
Gonzalez was rushed to the Ellenville Regional Hospital by friends shortly after the stabbing and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Underwood, a resident of Sullivan County at the time of the crime, called 911 from the scene claiming to have been the victim of an assault involving several individuals, however, Underwood did not have any physical injuries. Underwood was also unable to flee the scene as his vehicle was disabled in a snowbank and police arrived shortly thereafter. The knife used in the stabbing was recovered by the New York State Police Forensic Identification Unit in a snowbank.
Ulster County District Attorney Dave Clegg stated, “The swift response by the New York State Police in recovering and documenting evidence in this case played a significant role in assisting our office in holding Underwood responsible for this senseless killing.”
It is expected that Underwood will receive a sentence of 18 years in state prison followed by five years of post-release supervision when he is sentenced in January 2021.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Gerard Van Loan and the defendant was represented by Benjamin Greenwald of Chester.