“This heinous killing devastated an entire family, left two boys without a mother, and horrified the surrounding community.”
A handyman accused of brutally murdering his alleged former lover pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter this week.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced 44-year-old David Bonola’s plea on Wednesday, with Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise announcing he will be sentencing the defendant to 25 years in prison, followed by five years post-release supervision at his November 16 sentencing in exchange for the plea.
“This heinous killing devastated an entire family, left two boys without a mother, and horrified the surrounding community,” said the DA in a statement. “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. We express our sincerest condolences to the victim’s family and hope that today’s plea will allow them to begin to heal.”
According to the charges, Bonola argued with the victim in her home on April 16 when “the defendant slashed Gaal’s throat and stabbed her more than 50 times.”
Gaal’s 13-year-old son was home at the time of the murder, while her husband and eldest son were out of town visiting colleges.
Bonola was later seen on a nearby home’s security camera footage with a duffel bag belonging to one of the victim’s sons. That bag was later found with Gaal’s body inside, with a trail of blood leading back to the crime scene.
The murder weapon — one of her own kitchen knives — was also located inside the victim’s home, while Bonola’s jacket was discovered at the park.
Bonola admitted his guilt when questioned by detectives, NBC New York reported at the time of his arrest. He stabbed her with such violence his clothes ended up covered in blood, per authorities; he also received wounds to his hands from when police believe Gaal was fighting for her life.
The pair last had a romantic interaction in April, according to police; they say the lovers were “off” at the time of the killing.