Florida Keys

Resort worker pleads guilty to manslaughter in Key West stabbing case

Francisco Marquez, accused of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a co-worker in Key West three years ago, avoided trial Monday and pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter before Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones.

Sentencing is set for 8:45 a.m. Tuesday in Jones' courtroom at the Freeman Justice Center in Key West.

Marquez admitted he killed Giovanni Perez, 29, in February 2012. Police found him hiding under a trailer on Third Avenue on Stock Island about 15 hours after the killing.

Marquez, who worked at the Ibis Bay Beach Resort, 3101 N. Roosevelt Blvd. in Key West, stabbed Perez near a houseboat behind the resort.

According to witness statements supplied to the Key West Police Department, a houseboat party turned violent when Perez and Marquez got into an argument. One witness, Jose Lumbi, reportedly said he saw Marquez get a fork and knife from the kitchen with which to stab Perez. Officers later found a filet knife and butcher knife sitting atop a plastic lid with blood on the scene.