Woman arraigned in stabbing case now faces multiple murder counts

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

One of the first steps toward a trial was taken Monday in the case a York City woman accused of stabbing and killing her cousin over Christmas weekend last year.

Ninoska Santos-Cruz

Ninoska Santos-Cruz, 23, was arraigned Monday in  York County's Court of  Common Pleas, charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder. The charges were upgraded from homicide after the case moved out of the magisterial court system in February.

Santos-Cruz is accused of stabbing Joselito Pagan-Ocasio, 36, during an incident in which police said Santos-Cruz and several family members confronted Pagan-Ocasio, a cousin, at a home in the 300 block of East King Street the night of Dec. 26.

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Investigators allege she took a knife from Pagan-Ocasio’s hand and stabbed him once in the chest. He then collapsed and died.

Santos-Cruz’s attorney, Paul Kovatch, described the situation in February as “totally emotional.”

Monday’s arraignment was held as a formal hearing because the case involves murder charges.

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After reading Santos-Cruz’s trial rights and filing deadlines to her, Judge Harry Ness then scheduled a pre-trial conference to be held in the case on June 13.

— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.