Man found guilty in 2019 killing of ex-girlfriend Amanda Dabrowski inside Worcester restaurant

WORCESTER — A jury on Tuesday found Carlos Asencio guilty of murder in the fatal stabbing of his former work colleague and ex-girlfriend, 31-year-old Amanda Dabrowski, in a crowded Worcester restaurant in 2019.

The jury also found Asencio, 32, guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the injury of a patron inside the restaurant who helped to subdue Asencio.

Before jurors deliberated, prosecutors outlined their case of Asencio, calling the murder of Dabrowski “pre-meditated.”

“First-degree murder accomplished by deliberate pre-mediated and with extreme atrocity and cruelty,” said Edward Karcasinas, Assistant District Attorney Worcester.

“I ask you to return the verdict not guilty by reason of mental defect,” said Robert Griffin, defense attorney.

The question in front of the jury is not so much if Asencio killed Dabrowski, but if he was mentally competent at the time. Prosecutors say there is no mental illness in this case.

“Fueled by jealously and rage, Mr. Asencio murdered Amanda Dabrowski,” said Karcasinas.

The prosecution says Asencio tried to kill Amanda in her Ayer home, fled the country, and came back. He’s accused of tracking her by taping a cell phone to her car. He followed her to O’Connor’s Restaurant in Worcester where he entered with two large knives on July 3, 2019.

Surveillance video shows him wandering around the restaurant until he found Amanda and stabbed her 58 times.

“The ability to function does not mean you are not psychotic. It does not mean you are not mentally ill,” said Griffin. The defense says since Asencio has been medicated, he has improved. “His motive was to stop hearing the voices. in his defective mind, the only way he could do that was to do what he did.”

Several patrons jumped in to try to save Amanda and secure Asencio who asked to die. Prosecutors argue that further proves he planned to murder Amanda. “He was following his own internal dialogue to find and kill Amanda, the woman who ruined his life,” said Karcasinas.

“I need to recognize and thank the Good Samaritans who rushed an armed assailant inside a crowded restaurant while trying to save Amanda. They displayed bravery in a horrific situation,” said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early.

“While no verdict will ever bring Amanda back, we are relieved that a jury found this man responsible for taking her from us,” said the Dabrowski family outside of the courthouse. “We know he can never harm another person again. The jury helped us find some justice today, though we know there are no real winners.”

The murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is scheduled for June 29.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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