MANATEE — A jury of two men and four women Friday found a 32-year-old man guilty of second-degree murder after he stabbed a father to death as he was holding his baby son last year.
Carlos Viera faces life in prison and will be sentenced March 8 by Circuit Court Judge Debra Riva.
Viera came at 37-year-old William Howery on Jan. 29, 2009, outside of Royal Relaxation, 1248 Whitfield Ave., a business where women sell aromatherapy products wearing lingerie.
Howery was arguing with his fiancee, who worked at the business, over the phone before he arrived.
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At 5:50 p.m., Howery arrived at the business with the couple’s 15-month-old son in his arms and came to get his fiancee and her belongings, according to reports.
Howery also was arguing with Viera’s wife, Celeina Viera, who also worked at the business. She called out for her husband, Carlos, who came running with a knife and stabbed Howery at least once in the chest.
Prior to that evening, the Vieras had never met Howery.
Defense attorneys argued Viera stabbed Howery in self defense. Celeina Viera testified in court this week that she called for her husband because she was afraid.
“It was making me scared,” she said on the stand.
The child was not injured and Howery collapsed in the parking lot.
Viera looked over at his wife as he was led into the courtroom in restraints Friday afternoon, and she blew him a kiss. When the verdict was read, his wife bowed her head in tears as another woman comforted her.