Suspect extradited from Dominican Republic in 25-year-old Bushwick cold case

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A man suspected of a fatal 1996 stabbing in Bushwick has been apprehended and extradited to Brooklyn from the Dominican Republic, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Friday.

Bienvenido Rodriguez, 51, is the prime suspect in the quarter-century-old slaying, in which he supposedly stabbed another man, Giovanni Malpica, after being accused of sleeping with Malpica’s girlfriend. The case was cold for over two decades until authorities received a tip about his whereabouts after a 2018 report by Univision, which kicked off a series of events leading to Rodriguez being extradited to face justice.

“The charges in this case show that in Brooklyn, justice will not be denied, even when it is delayed,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “It took more than two decades to determine the whereabouts of this defendant, but once he was found, my office moved swiftly to charge him and bring him back to Brooklyn.”

Gonzalez says that Malpica confronted Rodriguez on the night of July 17, 1996 over the accused romantic slight, and soon knocked Rodriguez on the head with a boombox. Rodriguez then turned around and allegedly stabbed Malpica to death.

Later that night, Rodriguez went to the hospital to treat a head wound he said he got from a bike accident; after that, he fled the country, as he was eyed as a potential suspect early on, a DA spokesperson said.

After Univision aired its report, a tipster told the NYPD that Rodriguez was residing in Chile. A detective and prosecutor got in touch with the fugitive in November 2018, but he denied knowing either Malpica or his girlfriend.

Rodriguez was nonetheless deported from Chile to the Dominican Republic in 2019, the same year he was indicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He was apparently still on the lam until he was arrested last month in the Dominican Republic, and was subsequently extradited to the US on Thursday.

He was arraigned on second-degree murder charges in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Friday, and could face life in prison for the crime. He is being held without bail until his next court date on Dec. 17.