The man who stabbed a stranger after their dogs' leashes became tangled was sentenced Friday to 30 years to life in prison.
Daniel Pagan stabbed Chai-Eun Hillman and bartender Daniel Hultquist in the neck in 2010 outside of Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbildt Ave.
Pagan was convicted of first degree murder and attempted on December 13, 2012, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced.
New York Supreme Court Justice Daniel Chun sentenced Pagan to 23 years to life in prison on the murder charge and seven years in prison for the attempted assault.
On Sept. 10, 2010 at about 2:15 a.m. Pagan and his wife were outside of the bar with their Shih Tzu. Mr. Hillman, a martial-arts teacher and part-time bartender was not working that night, but had been at the bar for a charity event earlier that evening. In the early morning, he was outside the bar with his dog, a miniature pincher. The two dogs began to wrestle and their leashes became entangled. When Pagan’s wife and Hillman intervened, the Pagan accused Hillman of inappropriately touching his wife, according to a statment from Hynes' office.
The men began to argue. As the fight escalated, bar patrons, including Hillman’s co-worker Daniel Hultquist, tried to break-up the fight and Pagan took a knife out of his pants and slashed Hultquist’s neck. Pagan then pushed Hillman to the ground and stabbed him twice in the chest. Hillman died at the hospital, the statement said.
At the sentencing, the victim's father, Carl Hillman, said, "With senseless stupidity and wanton malice, Mr. Pagan ... deliberately took the second half of Chai's life from him and from all who loved him," the Daily News reports.
According to the News, Pagan serviced nine years for a 1991 manslaughter. At the trial his defense was self defense, but witnesses and video footage showed Pagan holding Hillman down as he stabbed him.
Hillman was a well-known martial arts expert and poker player who also had several small roles in "Law & Order," the News reports.