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A handyman who allegedly stabbed and then cut the throat of a Queens mom, stuffed her body in a hockey duffel bag and then dumped it in a nearby park earlier last year has admitted to the gruesome killing.
Bonola is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison, plus an additional five years of probation. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the murder charge he’d been facing in the case, according to New York ABC affiliate WABC-TV.
“This heinous killing devastated an entire family, left two boys without a mother and horrified the surrounding community,” Queens District Attorney Melina Katz stated in a press release. “I want to thank my prosecutors for their exhaustive efforts in securing this plea.”
“In pleading guilty, the defendant has accepted responsibility and is being held fully accountable for his criminal actions," Katz added We express our sincerest condolences to the victim’s family and hope that today’s plea will allow them to begin to heal.”
On April 16, a man walking his dogs by Forest Park found a “suspicious bag with blood on it,” the New York City Police Department told Oxygen.com at the time. Gaal’s body was found inside, dead of a slashed throat. The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that Gaal died from sharp force injuries to her neck.
Chilling surveillance footage from a nearby home had captured Gaal’s suspected killer — later identified as Bonola — “wheeling” a hockey duffel bag down a sidewalk near Gaal’s home around dawn. Prosecutors said the bag belonged to Gaal’s son.
Investigators found Gaal's home by tracing a trail of blood from the bag in Forest Park back to her residence.
Investigators later determined that Bonola had attacked Gaal at her home after the Queens mother returned from an outing shortly after midnight on April 16.
The pair, who had a on-and-off again sexual relationship, argued outside before going into the home's basement Prosecutors said Bonola then stabbed Gaal 55 times.
One of Gaal’s sons was inside the home at the time she was killed, but her husband and the couple’s other son were away at the time of the incident.
Bonola was arrested, but initially pleaded not guilty to a 13-count indictment following his arrest. According to authorities, Bonola had previously been employed to perform handy work at Gaal’s home.
Gaal’s family said she’ll be remembered as a loving and devoted mother who put her children first.
“She had a passion for making her kids happy,” Gaal’s teenage son Jamie said at a memorial for the slain Queens woman. “Right now that’s what’s important to remember.”
Bonola is set to be sentenced on Nov. 16.
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