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Family of 24-year-old fatally stabbed in NYC by smiling homeless man over a cigarette call killer a ‘f–king animal’ at sentencing

John Wright, 35, charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon for killing Carlos Rosario was sentenced today to jail.
John Wright, 35, charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon for killing Carlos Rosario was sentenced today to jail.

The lowlife bum who fatally stabbed a man over a cigarette after a dispute in Midtown was dubbed a “f–king animal” by the victim’s parents in court at his sentencing Thursday.

John Wright, 37, was sentenced to 19 years in prison by a Manhattan Supreme Court judge after pleading guilty to manslaughter for fatally stabbing Carlos Rosario, 24, after the victim’s coworker asked Wright for a cigarette on Dec. 6, 2022, on West 42nd Street near Ninth Avenue.

John Wright was sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Steven Hirsch
John Wright was sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Steven Hirsch

But before Judge April Newbauer slapped the nearly two-decade prison sentence on the homeless man, Wright heard from Rosario’s parents, who berated him for several minutes — and even made a veiled threat that they would be waiting for him when he got out of prison.

“John, why did you steal my son from me? Why couldn’t you just walk away? You f–king animal!” Melissa Davilla, Rosario’s mother, screamed as she sobbed from a podium during a victim impact statement.

Carlos Rosario was stabbed to death over a cigarette, prosecutors have said. Steven Hirsch
Carlos Rosario was stabbed to death over a cigarette, prosecutors have said. Steven Hirsch

Davilla, who wore a black hoodie with her slain son’s face on it, delivered a profanity-laced speech that included calling Wright a “f–king asshole” — proclaiming that her son is in a better place than the “living hell in shackles” that Wright has to deal with.

“You won’t be laughing, you won’t be laughing. Over a cigarette, John,” Davilla said, referring to when Wright was captured grinning after being arrested.

“My son didn’t even smoke cigarettes! He wanted to be everyone’s friend.”

Rosario was standing with a coworker outside a store in Midtown West when Rosario’s colleague asked Wright’s girlfriend for a cigarette — leading to a verbal dispute between the groups, prosecutors have said.

Wright was captured grinning after he was arrested for the slaying. Steven Hirsch
Wright was captured grinning after he was arrested for the slaying. Steven Hirsch

Wright and two others then chased Rosario and the coworker, punching and kicking him before Wright grabbed a knife out of a backpack and stabbed Rosario once in the chest, according to court documents.

Rosario died shortly after the stabbing while Wright, who fled the scene, was caught by police two weeks later in the Bronx.

Parents John Rosario (left) and Melissa Devila (center). Steven Hirsch
Parents John Rosario (left) and Melissa Devila (center). Steven Hirsch
Wright was called a “f–king animal” by the victim’s mom in court Thursday. Steven Hirsch
Wright was called a “f–king animal” by the victim’s mom in court Thursday. Steven Hirsch

Meanwhile, Carlos Rosario, the victim’s dad, insinuated that his son told Wright to “suck his d–k” and called him a “p—y” which led to his murder — and that won’t be able to defend himself with no knife in jail.

He then openly threatened his son’s killer in court, saying that he hopes Wright doesn’t “get out” of prison because he’ll be waiting for him.

“When you come out, if I’m still breathing, I’ll still be here waiting for you,” the father said.

Wright pled guilty to manslaughter in the first degree in February.