Former Dominican Pastor Sentenced to 23 Years in New York for the Murder of Wife

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Victor Mateo was sentenced to 23 years in prison for running over his estranged wife and stabbing her with a machete in front of his grandchildren, being a religious pastor in New York. The sentence was negotiated after pleading guilty in November to the crime committed in 2019. “The defendant not only took the life of a Bronx grandmother but also inflicted potential lifelong trauma on his grandchildren who witnessed this horrific crime,” County District Attorney Darcel Clark was quoted as saying by Pix11.

The sentence includes 23 years in prison and five more years of supervision after the eventual release. It also imposes final protection orders for the victim’s two grandchildren who witnessed the murder, who were only 9 and 11 years old. “Not only did they have to deal with the loss of their grandmother, but also immense trauma after witnessing such cruel events,” Clark said.

When his estranged wife left their home in the Bronx to take their grandchildren to school on Oct. 3, 2019, the former pastor hit her with his vehicle, Clark said. When Noelia Mateo hid under his car, Victor Mateo got into his vehicle and ran over his wife, and then hit her with a machete.

Mateo pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter on Nov. 17, 2021, and declined to attend the hearing where he was convicted. According to the news portal PIX11, the Dominican was arrested in 2019 and prosecuted on charges including first-degree manslaughter, second-degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the well-being of a child.

Within the 23-year sentence, five years of supervision after his release were also included. Final orders of protection were also added for the victim’s two grandchildren who witnessed the murder when they were just nine and 11 years old. “The victim’s grandchildren not only had to deal with the loss of their grandmother but also immense trauma after witnessing such cruel events,” Clark said.

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According to authorities, on the morning of the attack, Mateo parked his vehicle near his ex-wife’s home in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx and waited until she left the house to take her grandchildren to school.

Mateo was arrested in Pennsylvania on October 10, 2019 after a week-long search, having fled.

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