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.

The Riverside man who pleaded guilty last month to murdering his girlfriend on Aug. 10, 2020 was sentenced today to 20 years to life in prison, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney announced this afternoon.

Bayron Fajardo-Gonzalez was sentenced today by Suffolk County Court Judge Anthony Senft.

“This defendant brutally terrorized and murdered the innocent victim in front of her terrified daughter,” Tierney said in a press release. “Today’s outcome cannot change that. However, it does ensure that the defendant will serve a significant sentence and will be called to account for his cowardly actions.”

According to court filings and statements by the defendant, Fajardo-Gonzalez, 34, attacked the victim after she had arrived back to the couple’s residence with her 9-year-old daughter on Aug. 10, 2020. The victim, Tania Fox, 45, 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.

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 ran out of her room and up to a small attic to hide. Fox quietly called her cousin and told her “…if anything happens to me, Bayron is guilty. Please take care of my daughter.”

The defendant 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.

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 defendant admitted he stabbed Fox.

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, Tierney said,.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.