Martire Puente-Fulcar pleads guilty to murdering common law wife

Martire Puente-Fulcar will be sentenced for murdering his wife on Oct. 7. Photo: Montgomery County Police

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) -- The Montgomery County man who allegedly killed his common law wife last year, then tried to commit suicide in Miami, pleaded guilty to first degree murder Tuesday.

Prosecutors say that Martire Puente-Fulcar was behind the September 2012 death of Rocio Nikaury Morcelo, who was found bleeding to death and gasping for air inside the stairwell of an apartment building on Georgian Way near Georgia Avenue in Wheaton. Morcelo's three children were discovered huddled behind a locked bedroom door in their apartment.

According to authorities, Puente-Fulcar and Nikaury got into an argument at about 11 p.m. on Sept. 21, after which the suspect left their apartment for several hours to reportedly go to a neighborhood party.

He later returned and got into another verbal argument with the victim. The altercation then got physical, during which Puente-Fulcar initiated 34 stab wounds to Nikaury's neck, heart, and jugular veins.

Loved ones say that the couple had been together for ten years, and Fulcar was the father of her youngest child – a six-year-old boy. But poor finances led to a volatile existence and regular beatings from Fulcar.

Authorities say that later that morning, the suspect called his brother and confessed that he had stabbed Nikaury.

According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, Morcelo had sought out a protective order in the past, but never followed through – keeping Puente-Fulcar on the streets.

Puente-Fulcar faces 30 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 7.

Several days later Nikaury's murder, Puente-Fulcar, 33, was taken to a Florida hospital in critical condition after authorities say he jumped from the top of a nine-story hotel in Miami.

He suffered critical injuries, but was later extradited to Montgomery County.

Neighbors told ABC7 called Nikaury a wonderful mother who always put her children first, but also say they heard her and Puente-Fulcar loudly arguing on a regular basis.

Napoleon Puente, Fulcar's brother, has visited him in jail four times. He told ABC 7 that his brother is 'very remorseful' for what he's done.

The young son Fulcar and Morcelo shared is in custody of Morcelo's brother who lives in the D.C. metro area. Morcelo's other two children are living with family in California.