By Lisa Flaugh, Brooklyn News Service
A 36-year-old waitress pleaded guilty Friday to fatally stabbing a man who argued with her last year inside the restaurant where she worked on Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park.
Lan Shui Yu pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree before Justice Neil J. Firetog at State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. She is to be sentenced April 25, when she faces 15 years to life in prison and mandatory deportation to China after her sentence has been served.
Nodding her head and replying yes with an interpreter by her side, Yu was asked to acknowledge the charges and to confirm her use of the murder weapon, a fruit knife.
According to her attorney, Telesforo Del Valle Jr., Yu worked for two and a half years at Lucky Zhang’s Family, a restaurant on Eighth Avenue near 57th Street, as a waitress. Working that evening, Yu became embroiled in a dispute with Yang Zhang, 41. Del Valle said he was “very drunk and belligerent” and “calling her a prostitute.” Zhang was the brother of the restaurant owner’s wife.
Yu had appeared Tuesday before Justice William Harrington for the start of jury selection, but told her lawyer that she did not want to go to trial.
“She has acknowledged what she has done. She continuously stated that she did not want to go to trial. Bearing in mind that there is video evidence and witnesses, we felt that this was the best solution. She is extremely remorseful for what she did,” said Del Valle. “It is a sad incident for her and also because there is a loss of life.”
Del Valle said that Yu had no prior criminal record. “She was a hard worker who worked long hours with everyone at the restaurant,” he said. “She will be leaving behind her two children and her husband. Essentially it is sentencing her to life without her family.”
When police officers were called to the Lucky Zhang’s Family restaurant around 10 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2016, they found Yang Zhang outside with stab wounds in the back and neck. Yu had stabbed him inside the restaurant, and he stumbled outside on the street. He was taken to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The defendant had fled the scene but was arrested hours later at her home nearby, police said.
Brooklyn News Service reporter Ahmed Jallow contributed to this story.