Man sentenced to two years in stabbing death
A Cape Coral man accused in the death of his companion was sentenced to more than two years last week after entering into a plea deal with the state.
Wayne J. Zaleski Jr., 24, pleaded no contest to one count of manslaughter with a firearm or deadly weapon on Tuesday, the day his trial was to start. Assistant State Prosecutor Amanda Hutchinson said Zaleski took the deal before the proceedings began, after rejecting a “bunch” of other offers.
In June 2009, Zaleski was arrested and charged with one count of homicide or negligent manslaughter other than by motor vehicle in the death of Miguel Vandi, 29.
According to police, Zaleski fatally stabbed Vandi at their shared apartment at Amherst Manor Apartments, at 4808 Atlantic Court, Unit 33.
Zaleski was sentenced to 28 months, followed by 10 years of probation.
According to Hutchinson, Zaleski had been facing up to 30 years.
She said the lower sentence in the plea deal was based on several favors.
“It was really the facts and circumstances of the case,” Hutchinson said.
“Basically, all of our evidence was the defendant’s statement,” she said. “And he said it was self defense.”
Zaleski reportedly told police that he and Vandi had been drinking at several bars when the victim became jealous and went home. When both had returned home, Vandi brandished a knife during an argument. Zaleski grabbed the knife and stabbed Vandi. Zaleski later allegedly admitted to stabbing Vandi.
According to Hutchinson, the victim’s family was agreeable to the deal.
“That’s the agreement we came to,” she said. “I think it was a fair resolution based on all of the circumstances and facts that we had.”