A man found guilty of stabbing another man to death in October 2014 after a fight outside a Bradenton restaurant was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday.
Melvin Quevedo, 22, was found guilty May 12 of manslaughter with a weapon in the death of Herman Tabora-Discua.
At about 9 p.m. Oct. 5, 2014, detectives say Quevedo, Tabora-Discua and another man fought at Mami Carmen’s Restaurante, 5604 15th St. E. The fight led to a deadly confrontation in the parking lot of an adjacent pawn shop later, where detectives say Tabora-Discua punched Quevedo and then Quevedo stabbed him.
After collapsing, Tabora-Discua was taken to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton. He died the following day after two emergency surgeries.
Quevedo defense attorney Peter Coen argued Quevedo acted in self-defense. On Thursday, Quevedo asked Circuit Judge Deno Economou to have mercy and consider he came to the United Stated from his native El Savador to seek a better life and his family depends on him.
Economou said Quevedo, who came from similar circumstances as Tabora-Discua, could have walked away from the situation.
“Instead of going to his car, he decided to go up to Mr. Tabora and we all know the outcome,” Economou said. “And the irony is that Mr. Tabora also came to this country to seek a better life. ... to help his family ... and left behind a family that was poor.”
Economou referenced Quevedo, saying he had dreams.
“The irony is I’m sure Mr. Tabora also had dreams ... and his dreams have now ceased with your actions,” Economou said.
Assistant State Attorney Brian Chambers recommended Quevedo be sentenced to 15 years for the conviction as recommended by the Department of Corrections.
“After being punched in the face, he had time to reflect,” Chambers said of Quevedo whose altercation with the victim was captured on video used at trial. “You can see the defendant. ... he did not try to defend himself.”
Quevedo instead armed himself with a knife and after he stabbed Tabora-Discua he turned his back on the man he claims to have been defending himself from, Chambers said.