Wake Forest woman pleads guilty to boyfriend's stabbing death
Posted March 18, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — A woman who stabbed her 23-year-old boyfriend to death at their Wake Forest apartment last year could be out of prison in as early as four months under a plea deal reached Tuesday with Wake County prosecutors.
Krystal Terin Delgado, 28, was sentenced to 16 to 29 months in prison – with credit for time served – after she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the death of Dorian Kwame Cunningham.
Police were called to their apartment on the evening of March 6, 2013, after a 911 caller told authorities that Cunningham tripped over a pile of clothes and fell onto a knife that was sticking out of a box.
Investigators initially ruled Cunningham's death accidental but later charged Delgado with first-degree murder.
She later changed her claim, saying she acted in self-defense.
Wake County Assistant District Attorney Travis Wiggs said the couple had been drinking that night as they were preparing to move out of their Main Street apartment when Cunningham started pushing, smacking and choking Delgado.
"She told Dorian to stay away from her, and at that point, Dorian came at her and she stabbed him one time in the chest," Wiggs told Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens.
Cunningham died from a single stab wound to the left ventricle of his heart, according to an autopsy report. Toxicology reports also showed a blood alcohol level of .287 in his bloodstream, which Wiggs said indirectly contributed to his death.
Mike Howell, Delgado's defense attorney, said Cunningham was repeatedly abusive – with police being called by neighbors to the couple's apartment 12 times in the year prior for disturbances.
"But she wouldn't come clean with police about the domestic violence," Howell said. "She was scared. She had become accustomed to not calling 911."
She was devastated when police told her that Cunningham had died.
"She just became hysterical and inconsolable," Howell said. "She fell to the floor, just hollering."
Speaking at Delgado's sentencing, Cunningham's mother, Desiree Cunningham, refuted the defense and prosecution's claims of domestic abuse, saying it was Delgado who routinely abused her son.
"He's not a monster. He wasn't perfect, but he was my son," Desiree Cunningham said. "She took my son, and she's still lying on him. It's not right. She's not a victim."