DA: Suspect fatally stabbed coworker after chair prank

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Thursday, February 19, 2015
VIDEO: Murder charges
Police say a prank led to a stabbing death in Montgomery County.

FRANCONIA, Pa. (WPVI) -- A man fatally stabbed a coworker at a Montgomery County meat processing plant a day after authorities say the victim tried to pull a chair out from under him as a prank.

32-year-old Peter Jok Atem has been charged with the murder of 25-year-old Danny Vazquez, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Franconia Township Police Chief Joseph Kozniewski announced Thursday.

Investigators say on Tuesday, a day before the fatal stabbing, Vazquez tried to pull a chair out from under Atem.

Following the prank, investigators say, Atem told Vazquez that "I'm going to get you for that."

The following day, while working at the MOPAC Rendering Plant in Franconia Township, a witness saw Atem in a physical confrontation with Vazquez.

Vazquez and Atem separated.

A short time later, investigators say the witness heard screaming and saw Atem stabbing Vazquez.

The witness tried to help the victim, who became unresponsive.

Vazquez was taken to Abington-Lansdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police found Atem hiding in a shed near the plant.

Officers noticed stab wounds on Atem that appeared to be self-inflicted.

He was rushed to Paoli Memorial Hospital for treatment and remains at the hospital.

Investigators say they found a knife and handwritten note near Atem in the shed.

The note said in part, "see you in hell. life for life."

An autopsy performed on Vazquez Thursday morning revealed he died of multiple stab wounds and the manner of death was ruled homicide.