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Handyman Who Allegedly Stabbed Queens Mom More Than 50 Times Appears In Court

David Bonola, the handyman accused of the murder of 51-year-old mom Orsolya Gaal, briefly appeared in Queens County Court on Tuesday to decline his right to testify before a grand jury in the case. 

By Dorian Geiger
A personal photo of Orsolya Gaal

The handyman accused of murdering a Queens mother before allegedly stuffing her body in a duffel bag, which he dragged and dumped in a nearby park, made a brief court appearance Tuesday.

David Bonola, handcuffed and clad in a red jumpsuit and a protective face-mask, appeared in Queens County Criminal Court for approximately a minute, according to New York Fox affiliate WNYW. Bonola, who didn’t speak, appeared alongside his lawyer, who told the judge the 44-year-old was waiving his right to testify in front of a grand jury probing the killing.

Bonola was escorted out of the chamber moments later, the outlet reported. 

Bonola was originally arraigned last week in the gruesome slaying of Orsolya Gaal, 51, his employer and occasional romantic partner. Reports suggested that he and Gaal, who was married, had been in a sexual relationship for roughly two years. 

Gaal’s remains were discovered in a duffel bag in Forest Hills Park by a man walking his dogs on April 16, the New York Post reported. The Queens mother, whose throat was found sliced open, was stabbed more than 50 times, according to prosecutors. A blood trail led back to her Forest Hills house on Juno Street and, eventually, to Bonola.

Police say the 44-year-old made several incriminating statements and ultimately confessed to attacking Gaal with a knife and moving her body after the pair engaged in a verbal dispute after midnight on the night of the woman’s death. 

In the hours leading up to her slaying, Gaal had attended a show, posted on social media, and stopped for a cocktail and some food at a local Forest Hills bar. 

According to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Gaal was then killed after she met with Bonola in her home, but then asked him several times to leave.  

"Two boys are left without a mother and a young teenager faces the added trauma of being home when this heinous murder took place,” Katz said in a statement on April 21. “As alleged, the defendant stabbed the victim over 50 times and then attempted to dispose of the body by stuffing it into a duffel bag and dragging it across a quiet residential neighborhood – leaving a trail of blood and a terrified community."

A personal photo of Orsolya Gaal

Authorities found one of Gaal’s teenage sons at the family’s home after following the blood trail back from the park; he hadn't known she was missing. Her husband and other son were out of town at the time of the incident.

Surveillance footage discovered later showed a shadowy figure, later identified as Bonola, carting what police believe was the woman’s corpse down the street in a hockey duffel bag around 4:00 a.m.. A bloody jacket and blood-stained tissues found inside Forest Park — which police say belong to Bonola — subsequently linked the handyman to the brazen killing.

The Queens man has been charged with second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years-to-life in prison, prosecutors said. Bonola's next court date has been set for May 10.

Oxygen.com was unable to immediately reach David Strachan Jr., Bonola’s public defender, for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

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