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Ayer woman sentenced for fatally stabbing cousin

An Ayer woman who fatally stabbed her 24-year-old cousin with a kitchen knife in September was sentenced to eight to 10 years in state prison on Friday, according to the Middlesex district attorney’s office.

Laqwanda Villaronga, 27, pleaded guilty Jan 3. to charges of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a dangerous weapon in Lowell Superior Court, officials said in a statement.

Officials said Villaronga stabbed Ayer resident Jonathan Merritt in the chest during a domestic dispute inside her Gorton School Road apartment around 1:20 p.m. on Sept. 28. Merritt was taken to Nashoba Valley Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

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Ayer police arrested Villaronga at the scene, officials said.

In addition to serving time in state prison, Villaronga was sentenced to five years of probation with a GPS monitoring device. She was also ordered to attend anger management classes, undergo a mental health evaluation, attend parenting classes, submit to random screenings, avoid drugs, serve 100 hours of community service, and find a job or educational program.


Abigail Feldman can be reached at abigail.feldman@globe.com.