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Police: Man murdered over spilled coffee

STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A Connecticut man and teen were charged with murder after police say they stabbed a man to death for accidentally spilling coffee on them last Wednesday night.

Police in Stamford Conn. say 22-year-old James McLamb and an unidentified 15-year-old attacked 52-year-old Antonio Muralles on Broad Street after Muralles bumped into them and spilled coffee onto them outside McDonald’s.

“It’s very sad to think about,” said Muralles’ family friend Wendy Palma. “It’s hard.”

“Nowadays something so simple can tick off anyone,” she said.

Police say the 15-year-old stabbed Muralles and McLamb later beat him.

“It looks like the victim tried to apologize to get away from these guys,” said Lt. Dietrich Hohn. “Unfortunately, the 15-year-old juvenile was the instigator and kept going at him.”

According to officials, firefighters were responding to an unrelated call around 8:15 p.m. when they saw Muralles collapse on a street corner. The firefighters started to treat the victim and found a stab wound to his chest, police say. Muralles underwent emergency surgery at Stamford Hospital, but died just after 1 a.m. Thursday. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death a stab wound to the heart.

People who knew Muralles say they’ll remember him singing, smiling and loving the simple things. Palma says all he wanted to do was get back to Guatemala to take care of his dad. He was living with his niece and her husband in Stamford.

“It’s crazy, and probably because he looks like an easy target,” said Palma.

The violence has the whole community disgusted.

“As word got out this was such a senseless, tragic incident, we had people coming forward and giving us tips,” said Capt. Richard Conklin.

Police say hours of surveillance video also helped as well. There were about three others with McLamb and the juvenile, including a woman. Police say the group was on a mission to hurt someone.

“Throughout the day they were arguing, saying they were going to harm someone,” said Capt. Conklin.

McLamb was charged with first-degree murder Sunday. Officials say he was already in police custody on unrelated weapons charges for having brass knuckles when he was charged in Muralles’s death. The man was arraigned in court Monday and is being held on $2 million bond.

The juvenile, also charged with first-degree murder, was taken into custody without incident Monday morning. The 15-year-old was taken to a juvenile detention center, but may be charged as an adult. He’ll be in court Tuesday.

Police say there will likely be a third person arrested.

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