Prosecutors on Tuesday filed a murder charge against the man accused of stabbing a 31-year-old father to death after an argument near a homeless encampment in April.
Ricky Delarosa Fernandez, 41, is accused of killing Ricardo Guerrero on April 15 near Cherry Avenue and E. 68th Street after a dispute of some kind between the two men escalated to a stabbing, according to police.
Police arrested Fernandez outside a Norwalk motel on May 27 and he appeared in court to face the murder charge for the first time on Tuesday. He did not enter a plea, according to court records. He’s being held on $2 million bail, jail records show.
Charging papers show Fernandez has two previous felony convictions for possession of a deadly weapon and one for burglary in 2010. It’s unclear how he came into contact with Guerrero, who had been living at the encampment, a family member said previously.
Ricardo Guerrero’s brother, Juan, said he’d never heard of Fernandez before his arrest, and it’s unclear if there was any prior connection between the two of them.
In early May, the Guerrero family began raising money for Ricardo Guerrero’s funeral and to support his three children, who are 13, 8, and 2.
“The younger one is the one who’s taking it a little harder; they were a little closer,” Juan Guerrero said.
Ricardo Guerrero will be buried on June 3, according to his brother. His accused killer is scheduled to return to court on June 15, which happens to be his victim’s birthday.
“We’re really just trying to be strong for each other,” said Juan Guerrero.
Ricardo Guerrero struggled with drug addiction and homelessness, but his family remembers him as “the loud one of the party, very spontaneous, funny, just busting jokes and laughing,” Juan Guerrero said. “Everybody knew when he was in the room, you know?”
The two were close; Ricardo Guerrero lived with his brother for three years before he moved into his own home.
For Juan Guerrero and his family, they hope that the court case will bring closure.
“Hopefully justice is served to the individual for what he did to my brother,” said Juan Guerrero. “We hope he gets the max.”
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