FALL RIVER — A 25-year-old New Bedford woman who fatally stabbed her ex-boyfriend outside a car wash was sentenced to serve 16 to 20 years in state prison on Friday after pleading guilty to manslaughter and other charges in Fall River Superior Court, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Zashairy Gonzalez pleaded guilty to indictments charging her with manslaughter, intimidation of a witness and malicious destruction of property. In addition to the state prison sentence, Judge Renee Dupuis also sentenced the defendant to an additional five years of supervised probation, which includes mandatory mental health and drug treatment counseling.

On September 17, 2017, the defendant and victim had already broken off their dating relationship, but they still had some communication. On this date, at about 6:30 p.m., the victim went to the defendant’s apartment looking for his wallet. There was an argument and the victim left. At about 8:30 pm, the defendant started texting the victim asking for a marijuana blunt. The victim refused to give her a blunt, so the defendant went looking for him.

The victim and his friends were homeless and were hanging out at a car wash on Nauset Street, about a quarter of a mile from the defendant's home. Surveillance video showed the defendant went behind a shopping plaza and around the back of the car wash, where the victim was located with his friends. The defendant then went around the front of the shopping plaza carrying a large rock in her hand.

When the defendant turned the corner to the car wash, she confronted the victim and again asked for a blunt. Three witnesses saw the defendant carrying the rock and all described a black-handled steak knife in her sleeve. When the victim refused to give her a blunt, the defendant then slashed three of the tires on the victim's car. Still demanding the blunt, the defendant then took the rock and smashed all of the windows in his car. The defendant and victim argued, and the victim stated he was going to call 911. The defendant told him not to and took his phone and smashed it. The victim then asked one of the witnesses if he could borrow his phone to call 911. 

At this point, the defendant started to walk away but the victim followed after her, informing her that he was on the line with 911. After the defendant and the victim rounded a corner, the victim turned to his friends and said he had been stabbed. The defendant had stabbed the victim once in the chest. The defendant then walked home, took a shower and changed her clothes.

Police located the defendant minutes later at her home. The next morning, the police searched the area for the weapon. While searching a neighbor’s yard, the police found a knife that matched the description given by the three witnesses. The tenants at that property stated that they had just done yard work in the past few days and that knife was not there. The medical examiner concluded that the cause of death was a stab wound to the chest that penetrated the heart.

During the pendency of the case, it was revealed the defendant has a long history of mental illness, including diagnoses for bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Carolyn Morrissette and Courtney Cahill.

“This was another senseless act of violence motivated by the victim refusing to provide the defendant with marijuana.  The facts and circumstances of the incident, along with the defendant’s psychological history, were significant factors in the disposition of this case,” District Attorney Quinn said.

— Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420