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Seafarer Pleads Guilty to Stabbing Bosun Aboard Boxship MSC Ravenna

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Published May 2, 2022 10:16 PM by The Maritime Executive

A crewmember of the boxship MSC Ravenna has pleaded guilty to stabbing and killing a crewmate while under way in the Pacific in 2020. Witnesses to the attack reported that the two men had an argument about crew change shortly before the incident.

Prosecutors allege that Philippine national Michael Monegro, 43, attacked his supervisor with two knives on September 20, 2020, when the Ravenna was about 80 nm off the coast of Southern California. The victim, bosun Manolito Santillan, died from the stab wounds aboard the ship. Other members of the crew witnessed the attack, including the captain and the chief engineer.

According to a crewmember who witnessed the assault, Santillan mentioned crew change before Monegro assaulted him. Two witnesses heard Monegro say, "You are the one that destroyed my family," wrote FBI Special Agent Matthew Parker in an affadavit. 

In his plea agreement, Monegro said that he only ceased stabbing the victim when he became too tired to continue. After it was over, the captain of the ship convinced Monegro to surrender the knives, and Monegro was detained in a cabin.

According to prosecutors, Monegro has pleaded guilty to one count of "committing an act of violence against a person on board a ship that is likely to endanger the vessel's safe navigation," a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, plus restitution. Sentencing is scheduled for September 12.