A Philippines national who fatally stabbed a fellow crew member on a container ship en route from Shanghai to Los Angeles was sentenced Monday to 20 years in federal prison.
Michael Monegro, 44, pleaded guilty in May in L.A. federal court to one count of committing an act of violence against a person onboard a ship that is likely to endanger the vessel’s safe navigation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Monegro could have received up to life behind bars.
Monegro was working as a seaman aboard the MSC Ravenna, a 153,000-gross-ton Liberian-flagged container ship, on Sept. 20, 2020 — when the ship was 80 nautical miles from Southern California, nearing the end of its two-week voyage from Shanghai to the Port of Los Angeles.
According to prosecutors, Monegro and other crew members were in a dressing room on the ship’s upper deck when Monegro spotted his direct supervisor in an adjacent hallway. In full view of other crew members, Monegro began stabbing the victim in the hallway, prosecutors said.
As the pair fell to the ground during the struggle, Monegro got on top of the victim and continued stabbing him, eventually pulling a second knife from the victim’s coveralls and stabbing him with both knives, according to federal prosecutors.
Crew members unsuccessfully tried to intervene, with Monegro later saying he stopped only when he got tired, prosecutors said.
The Ravenna’s captain, chief mate and chief engineer eventually arrived and 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, where he surrendered the knives, and was placed in custody in his cabin.
Prosecutors said other crew members were assigned to guard his cabin door, leaving them unable to perform their normal duties on the ship. Prosecutors said other crew members were traumatized by witnessing Monegro stab and kill the victim.
Federal agents arrested Monegro after the ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles a week after the fatal stabbing. He has been in federal custody since his arrest.