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Handyman Arraigned In Slaying Of Queens Mom Whose Body Was Found In Park
David Bonola has pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges connected to the brutal murder of Orsolya Gaal.
A handyman accused in the “heinous” killing of a Queens mother, who was stabbed dozens of times before her body was found stuffed in a hockey duffel bag in a nearby park last month, was arraigned on Tuesday.
David Bonola, 44, pleaded not guilty to a 13-count indictment in Queens County Criminal Court this week in the April slaying of Orsolya Gaal, prosecutors confirmed. He was indicted on multiple charges including second-degree murder, weapons offenses, burglary, and concealment of a human corpse, according to an indictment obtained by Oxygen.com.
"The heinous murder left two teenagers without a mother and terrified an entire community," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “The defendant has now been indicted and arraigned on very serious charges and faces a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.”
On April 16, Gaal’s body was found in a blood-stained sports equipment bag in Forest Park on Metropolitan Avenue near Union Turnpike. She’d been stabbed more than 50 times, prosecutors said. Her death was later ruled a homicide by the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner.
Bonola was arrested days later after he allegedly approached police in connection with the homicide. Under questioning, he allegedly confessed to murdering the mother of two and later disposing of her body, according to officials.
Police said the two, who had been engaged in an on-and-off again sexual relationship for roughly the past two years, got into a dispute that turned deadly at Gaal’s Forest Hills Home shortly after midnight on the night of the killing. Bonola, a handyman also employed by Gaal, allegedly slashed the 51-year-old woman's throat and stabbed her multiple times at the Juno Street property.
After finding Gaal’s corpse in Forest Park, detectives traced a blood trail back to her home. Chilling surveillance video subsequently captured an individual, who police have identified as Bonola, hauling the bloody duffel bag down the sidewalk. His jacket was also discovered in the Queens park. The knife allegedly used to kill Gaal was recovered by investigators from her home, as well.
At the time of the killing, the woman’s 13-year-old son had been sleeping in an upstairs room in the home, WNBC reported. The woman’s husband, Howard Klein, who was traveling at the time with the couple's other son, also claimed to have received an unnerving text message after his wife’s body was found.
“Your whole family is next,” the message read, according to WPIX.
News of Gaal's murder shook the upscale and relatively quiet Forest Hills neighborhood last month.
“She was out there living her life and making sure her kids were well looked after, like any mother would,” neighbor Nicola Blankson told the New York Post in April. “This is the last thing I’d expect to wake up to.”
Bonola was remanded to custody following his Tuesday court appearance. He faces 25 years to life in prison if he’s convicted, prosecutors said. The 44-year-old’s next court date is scheduled for July 7.
David Strachan Jr., Bonola’s defense attorney, declined to comment on his client's open case when contacted on Wednesday morning.