A Suffolk County Police Department Command Post truck parked on Ludlam Avenue Aug.11, near a house were a Tania Fox was killed the night before. RiverheadLOCAL courtesy photo.

A Riverside man pleaded guilty to murder yesterday in the stabbing death of his girlfriend on Aug. 10, 2020, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney announced this afternoon.

Bayron Fajardo-Gonzalez, 34, pleaded guilty to Murder in the Second Degree in the stabbing death of Tania Fox, 45, at the couple’s Ludlam Avenue home, in front of the victim’s 9-year-old daughter.

The guilty plea by came on the eve of the scheduled start of Fajardo- Gonzalez’s trial in Suffolk County Criminal Court.

Fajardo-Gonzalez faces 20 years to life in prison and is due back in court for sentencing before Suffolk County Court Judge Anthony Senft on April 27.

“This plea will not bring the victim back, nor will it erase the brutal acts her young daughter witnessed,” Tierney said in a press release. “However, this defendant will now serve an extensive prison sentence and her family and loved ones can hopefully rest a little easier knowing that the defendant has been brought to justice.”

According to court filings and statements by the defendant, on Aug. 10, 2020, Fajardo-Gonzalez attacked the victim after she had arrived back to the couple’s residence with her child, the D.A.’s press release said. Fox and the defendant, who was not the child’s father, had been arguing earlier in the evening and once home, the victim and her daughter locked themselves in the child’s bedroom to avoid the defendant, according to the press release.

After being unable to gain entry to the child’s bedroom, Fajardo-Gonzalez went outside and broke a window to the child’s bedroom. The victim and her daughter then ran out of the bedroom and upstairs to a small attic, where they attempted to hide.

According to prosecutors, Fox quietly called her cousin and told her “…if anything happens to me, Bayron is guilty. Please take care of (my daughter).”

Fajardo-Gonzalez followed after them, initially barging into a tenant’s room demanding to know where Fox was.

Fajardo-Gonzalez then entered the attic area and stabbed Fox multiple times in the chest while her daughter was standing next to her. The child escaped the attic and called 911, as did the tenant. While the child was on the phone calling 911, the victim could be heard screaming in the background, prosecutors said.

Officers from the Southampton Town Police Department quickly arrived and observed Fajardo-Gonzalez walking down the stairs from the attic covered in the victim’s blood, the press release said. The defendant admitted he stabbed Fox, it said.

Tierney said the case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Scarglato of the Narcotics Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Melissa Grier of the of the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Bureau.

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