Fugitive returned to CT, charged with murder after 14 months on the run
Stamford police say a man who fled the state after a deadly stabbing is back and now charged with murder.
There has been an arrest warrant for Samuel Delfiro Zapata-Herrera since October 2020. He was a fugitive for more than a year, until U.S. Marshals arrested him last month outside Houston, Texas. He arrived in Connecticut Tuesday.
Police say Zapata-Herrera stabbed Isaias Sagastume-Aceituno outside Reyes Bar & Grill on Stillwater Avenue the night of Oct. 4, 2020.
The incident was caught on surveillance video, which the prosecutor said in court clearly identifies Zapata-Herrera.
"It shows this was not an act of self-defense," said Assistant State's Attorney Dan Cummings. "The defendant charged at the victim, stabbing him repeatedly, well after any altercation had terminated. In fact, I believe the victim's hands were up in a show of surrender more or less."
Police say the two men didn't know each other. The whole incident began inside the bar with a confrontation between the victim and the suspect's cousin.
"Some information we have is that it possibly could've been something as minor as being bumped in the bar," said Stamford Police Lt. Tom Scanlon.
Zapata-Herrera's arrest warrant shows it escalated after Sagastume-Aceituno lunged at the suspect's cousin and had to be escorted out by the bouncer.
When the suspect and his cousin left a few minutes later, the fight continued outside. Police say Zapata-Herrera pulled a knife and stabbed Sagastume-Aceituno 14 times.
Sagastume-Aceituno ran up the street, collapsing on the sidewalk. A person driving by saw him and flagged down nearby police.
Investigators publicly named Zapata-Herrera as their suspect a few days later, but it was believed he'd already left the state.
"Once we determined that he did flee the area, we reached out to our partners in the U.S. Marshals Service, who helped us extensively on this case in tracking him down," said Scanlon.
Zapata-Herrera's bond was set at $1.5 million.
There's also an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer on him. Police say he's originally from Guatemala and had been living in Stamford for two years.