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Filipino Seafaer Pleads Guilty in Gruesome Murder of Crew Member on LA-Bound Containership

Mike Schuler
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May 3, 2022

A Filipino seafarer is facing up to life in U.S. jail for fatally stabbing his supervisor on board an MSC containership en route from Shanghai to Los Angeles.

Seafarer Michael Dequito Monegro, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of committing an act of violence against a person onboard a ship that is likely to endanger safe navigation.

Monegro was working as a seaman aboard the MSC Ravenna, a 153,000-gross-ton Liberian-flagged container ship, at the time of the attack. The plea agreement describes the gruesome details of the fatal stabbing in front of other crew members.

While nearing the end of its two-week voyage from Shanghai to the Port of Los Angeles, the MSC Ravenna was located about 80 nautical miles from Southern California on September 20, 2020. That morning, several crewmembers were in a dressing room on the ship’s upper deck, preparing for their shift and waiting for their direct supervisor to provide their work assignments for the day. Shortly after Monegro saw his direct supervisor in the hallway outside the locker room, Monegro began stabbing him with a knife while they were both in the hallway in full view of several crewmembers.

The victim grappled with Monegro and the two fell to the floor. Monegro then got on top of the victim and continued stabbing him. At some point, he grabbed a second knife from the victim’s coveralls and stabbed him with both knives.

While crewmembers attempted to intervene to stop Monegro, including throwing a trash can at him, they were unsuccessful. Monegro later admitted that he only stopped stabbing the victim when he became too tired to continue.

The ship’s captain, chief mate and chief engineer all arrived on scene during the incident, and the captain convinced Monegro to get off the victim, who died on the ship from multiple stab wounds.

Monegro was convinced by the captain to walk to a conference room and, after continued discussions, he placed the knives on the conference room table and was escorted to his cabin.

After the incident, Monegro was confined to a cabin as crewmembers were assigned to guard the door, making them unable to perform their normal duties on the ship. Other crewmembers were also traumatized by witnessing Monegro stab and kill the victim.

Federal agents arrested Monegro after the ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles on September 27, 2020, and has been in federal custody since his arrest.

A U.S. District Court judge has scheduled a sentencing hearing for September, at which time Monegro will face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

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