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NYC Handyman Sentenced for Stabbing Married Ex-Lover More Than 50 Times and Stuffing Her Body in a Hockey Bag

David Bonola and Orsolya Gaal appear in separate photos.

David Bonola and Orsolya Gaal.

A 44-year-old New York City handyman who admitted to stabbing his ex-lover more than 50 times before stuffing her body in a duffel bag and leaving it outside near a park will spend several decades in prison.

Queens Supreme Court Judge Michael Aloise on Wednesday sentenced David Bonola to 25 years in prison for the brutal slaying of 51-year-old Orsolya Gaal earlier this year, prosecutors announced.

In addition to the prison time, Judge Aloise also sentenced Bonola to an additional five years of post-release probation.

“This was a brutal killing, and no amount of prison time can bring the victim back to her loved ones,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement following the proceeding. “Today’s sentencing, however, provides a measure of justice and I hope the victim’s family can rest easier knowing that the person responsible was held fully accountable.”

Prosecutors had initially charged Bonola with murder but in November agreed to drop that charge in exchange for Bonola pleading guilty to the lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter, Law&Crime previously reported.

According to a press release from prosecutors, Bonola at approximately 12:30 a.m. on April 16 arrived at Gaal’s home.  The 51-year-old woman had just returned to her residence in Forest Hills after an evening out at Lincoln Center.

“Bonola and the victim, who were previously known to one another, began to argue. The verbal fight quickly escalated to Bonola slashing Gaal’s throat and stabbing her more than 50 times with a knife,” the press release states. “At approximately 4:15 a.m., Bonola was captured on a nearby home’s security video surveillance footage wheeling a hockey duffel bag belonging to one of the victim’s sons.  The bag, containing Gaal’s lifeless body, was found at about 8:00 a.m. on Metropolitan Avenue, near Union Turnpike, in the vicinity of Forest Park.”

A dog-walker found the bag in question, the DA’s office said.

On the date the investigation unfolded, a homicide detective said during a press gaggle that the authorities believed Bonola and Gaal had an “intimate-type relationship” and that a “heated” argument began over “domestic” issues between the two. NBC News reported that authorities said Gaal and Bonola were in an “on-again-off-again” romantic relationship that was considered “off” during their final encounter.

A “trail of blood” led investigators from the bag with Gaal’s body in it directly to the doorstep of the home where she resided with her husband and two teenage sons, the local constabulary said. Investigators searched the home where they recovered the murder weapon “hidden” inside.

The jacket Bonola wore during the attack was found in Forest Park.

Gaal’s husband and one of her sons were reportedly out of town visiting colleges at the time of her death; another son was home asleep and apparently was unaware that his mother was being killed.

As the police combed the crime scene, WABC reported that Bonola simply walked up to detectives and said, “I hear you are looking for me.”

“Days later, the defendant offered to speak to police and during questioning made incriminating statements,” one of the DA’s press releases stated. “He revealed that some time on Saturday he went to a hospital for a cut on his hand. He also stated in sum and substance that he and the victim argued and confessed to stabbing her and moving her body.”

Authorities said the cut on his hand was the result of Gaal fighting off his attacks.

“This heinous killing devastated an entire family, left two boys without a mother, and horrified the surrounding community,” DA Katz said in a statement announcing the plea deal. “I want to thank my prosecutors for their exhaustive efforts in securing this plea.”

[image of Bonola via mugshot; image of Gaal via Facebook]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.