Tags Posts tagged with "Manslaughter"

Manslaughter

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. Photo from Tierney's office

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney recently announced that Albert Coppedge, 49, of Coram, pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree, for beating his landlord, 62-year-old Kenneth Mitchell, to death with a dumbbell, and stealing money from his wallet afterwards.

“This defendant’s guilty plea does not take away the pain of the loss that Mr. Mitchell’s friends and loved ones have endured. I hope that this resolution allows them some closure for this horrific act of violence,” said District Attorney Tierney. “I want to thank our prosecutors for securing this conviction, as well as the Suffolk County Police Department for their investigation in this case.”

According to court documents and the defendant’s admissions during his guilty plea allocution, on December 6, 2020, shortly after 11 a.m., multiple eyewitnesses saw Coppedge and Mitchell, his landlord, engaged in a verbal altercation in the backyard of their home in Coram. Coppedge was later seen wielding a dumbbell and then repeatedly striking Mitchell in the head while Mitchell was pleading for Coppedge to stop. Coppedge then took Mitchell’s wallet and removed a large sum of cash before fleeing the property. Mitchell was taken to Long Island Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Several hours after the attack, Coppedge returned to the scene where he encountered law enforcement, and he was placed under arrest.

On December 20, 2023, Coppedge pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Steven A. Pilewski, to Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class B felony. Coppedge is due back in court for sentencing on January 26, 2024. Coppedge is being represented by Christopher Brocato, Esq.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Dena Rizopoulos of the Homicide Bureau, with investigative assistance from Detective Scott Aquilino of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Squad.

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on June 30 that David Cruz, 32, of Medford, was sentenced to 24 years in prison followed by five  years of post-release supervision after being convicted by a jury last month of Manslaughter in the  First Degree, for the 2022 beating death of Jake Scott, 32, of Centereach.  

“We are satisfied that justice was served, and that this defendant was held accountable for his  actions by the trial jury and now the court,” said District Attorney Tierney. “This lengthy prison  sentence will allow the defendant to reflect on the fact that because he chose to violently rob Jake Scott of his life, he will now spend significant time behind bars. While no sentence can bring Mr. Scott back to his friends and family, we hope that this sentence brings some measure of closure.”  

The evidence at trial established that on August 21, 2022, Cruz was working as a bouncer at  Tailgaters Bar in Holbrook when he got into a verbal dispute with Scott. According to witness  testimony, Scott called Cruz a “weirdo” earlier in the evening, which may have been the catalyst  for the argument.  

At approximately 2:45 a.m., Cruz went outside of the bar and engaged in a further verbal exchange  with Scott. During that exchange, Cruz repeatedly attempted to draw Scott out of view of the bar’s  surveillance camera. 

After failing to lure Scott out of the camera’s view, Cruz walked to his vehicle and returned to the  front area of the bar a short time later. Once there, Cruz dragged a chair over to the bar’s  surveillance camera, stood on the chair, took off his shirt, and then covered the security camera.  

Apparently unaware that a security camera from a nearby business was filming, Cruz, who stands  6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, immediately began to assault Scott after he covered the bar’s security camera. The video footage depicted Cruz delivering his first punch while Scott was starting to get up from his seat as Cruz came towards him. The punch caused Scott to fall onto the cement sidewalk. Cruz then grabbed a motionless Scott by his shirt, pulled him up and yelled  at him to get up. When Scott did not respond, Cruz dropped him back to the ground and delivered  a final blow to Scott’s head before fleeing the scene. Cruz surrendered to police three days later, on August 24, 2022.  

Scott was taken to Stony Brook Hospital where he was placed into a medically induced coma.  While at the hospital, doctors determined Scott suffered a brain bleed, a complete skull fracture, and a traumatic brain injury. Scott remained in the hospital for 11 days before he succumbed to his  injuries and passed away.  

On April 24, 2023, Cruz was found guilty after a jury trial heard before Supreme Court Justice,  the Honorable John B. Collins, for the crime of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class B violent  felony. On June 30, Judge Collins sentenced Cruz to 24 years in prison, followed by five  years of post-release supervision. Cruz was represented by Javier Solano, Esq.  

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Scott Romano and Elizabeth Creighton  of the Major Crime Bureau, with investigative assistance from Suffolk County Police Department  Detectives Richard Jones of the Homicide Squad and Matthew Messina of the Fifth Squad. 



by -
0 920
Jhonny Chavarria Argueta

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on April 20 that Jhonny Chavarria-Argueta, 21, of Bay Shore, pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in  the Second Degree and other related charges, for speeding 120 mph and driving while intoxicated,  which resulted in a crash that killed his passenger, Jessica Gonzalez, 19, of Commack. 

“This defendant’s selfish actions in driving drunk and speeding resulted in the death of this young  woman, who was a defenseless passenger in his vehicle,” said District Attorney Tierney. “The  defendant’s selfishness continued even after the crash, when he refused to stay and render her aid,  and, instead, cowardly ran away in an attempt to avoid being caught by law enforcement.  Thankfully he has been, and will now be off the roads for a substantial time while he sits in prison  for his crimes.”  

According to court documents and the defendant’s admissions during his guilty plea allocution, on  September 18, 2022 at approximately 4:20 a.m., Chavarria-Argueta was driving a rented 2022  Hyundai Santa Fe eastbound on the Southern State Parkway in the area of the Robert Moses  Causeway near exit 40 after having consumed alcohol. Witnesses observed the defendant drinking  alcohol prior to driving the car. 

Chavarria-Argueta, who was driving at an extremely high rate of speed, lost control of the vehicle  and struck the median guardrail causing the vehicle to flip multiple times and finally came to a rest  on its nose against the Robert Moses Causeway overpass. Gonzalez, who was sitting in the front  passenger seat, was ejected from the vehicle and died from injuries sustained in the crash.  Following the crash, Chavarria-Argueta climbed out of the vehicle and fled the scene on foot.  Prosecutors obtained a warrant to retrieve the black box from Chavarria-Argueta’s vehicle which  revealed that he was driving 120 mph within seconds of the time of the crash.  

On April 20, Chavarria-Argueta pleaded guilty before Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable  Judge Timothy P. Mazzei to:  

Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Class C felony;  

Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Class D felony;  

Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting, a Class D felony;  Driving While Intoxicated, an Unclassified misdemeanor.  

Chavarria-Argueta is due back in court on June 1, 2023 for sentencing, and faces four to 12 years  in prison.

by -
0 647
Pixabay photo

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on April 24 that a jury found David Cruz, 32, of Medford, guilty of Manslaughter in the First  Degree, for the 2022 beating death of Jake Scott, 32, of Centereach.  

“This defendant’s job as a bouncer was to protect patrons of the establishment he worked for, and  to remove anyone who posed a threat to customers, but it turned out that the only threat to the  public on the night of this victim’s tragic death, was the defendant himself,” said District Attorney  Tierney. “This entire situation could have been de-escalated, but the defendant could not control  his temper and beat Jake Scott so badly, that he needed to be placed into a coma and later died due  to the severity of his injuries. I am thankful that the jury paid careful attention to this case and  found the defendant guilty of this violent and senseless crime.”  

The evidence at trial established that on August 21, 2022, Cruz was working as a bouncer at Tailgaters Bar in Holbrook when he got into a verbal dispute with Scott. According to witness  testimony, Scott called Cruz a “weirdo” earlier in the evening, which may have been the catalyst  for the argument. 

At approximately 2:45 a.m., Cruz went outside of the bar and engaged in a further verbal exchange  with Scott. During that exchange, Cruz repeatedly attempted to draw Scott out of view of the bar’s  surveillance camera. After failing to lure Scott out of the camera’s view, Cruz walked to his vehicle  and returned to the front area of the bar a short time later. Once there, Cruz dragged a chair over to the bar’s surveillance camera, stood on the chair, took off his shirt, and then covered the security camera.  

Apparently unaware that a security camera from a nearby business was filming, Cruz, who stands  6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, immediately began to assault Scott after he covered  the bar’s security camera. The video footage depicted Cruz delivering his first punch while Scott was starting to get up from his seat as Cruz came towards him. Scott then fell onto the cement  sidewalk and remained there as Cruz got on top of him, delivering more punches to Scott’s head.  When Scott lay motionless and unconscious on the ground, Cruz grabbed Scott’s shirt and pulled  him up, yelling at Scott to get up. When Scott did not respond, Cruz dropped him back to the  ground and delivered a final blow to Scott’s head before fleeing the scene. Cruz surrendered to  police three days later, on August 24, 2022.  

Scott was taken to Stony Brook Hospital where he was placed into a medically induced coma.  While at the hospital, doctors determined Scott suffered a brain bleed, a complete skull fracture,  and a traumatic brain injury. Scott remained in the hospital for 11 days before he succumbed to his  injuries and passed away.  

On April 24, Cruz was found guilty after a jury trial heard before Supreme Court Justice, the  Honorable John B. Collins, for the crime of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class B violent  felony. Cruz is due back in court on May 25, 2023 for sentencing, and faces up to 25 years in prison.  

by -
0 557
John Mann IV

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced on March 17 that John Mann IV, age 20, of Centereach, pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree for the premeditated fatal beating of Henry Hernandez, age 16, of Hempstead, whose skeletal remains were found in Centereach in March 2020.

“The violent end of this young victim’s life and the way his body was disposed of shows the coldhearted and brutal nature of the defendant,” said District Attorney Tierney. “What makes this murder even more sad is that the victim Henry was only 16 years old and had his whole life ahead of him.”

According to court documents and Mann’s admissions during his guilty plea allocution, on March 15, 2020, skeletal remains were discovered in a plastic tub on the property of Mann IV’s neighbor. The remains were wrapped in two separate plastic bags. When the skeletal remains were further examined, it was discovered that the hands and feet were bound with duct tape, and the head and mouth were wrapped in duct tape. DNA tests determined that the skeletal remains were that of 16- year-old Henry Hernandez.

A subsequent police investigation established that Mann and Hernandez became acquaintances in March 2019. A short time later, Hernandez went to Mann’s home located on Jay Road in Centereach and stole his father’s truck. On or around June 2, 2019, Mann lured Hernandez to a location known as the “Sand Pit,” where he duct-taped the victim and struck him multiple times with a blunt object. Mann placed Hernandez’s body in a hole on his property and covered it with debris. The defendant later moved Hernandez’ skeletal remains into a plastic tub and placed it on his next-door neighbor’s property, where it was ultimately recovered on March 15, 2020.

On March 17, 2023, Mann pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Anthony S. Senft, Jr., to Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class B violent felony and Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class E felony. He is due back in court on April 19, 2023 for sentencing, and is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by five years’ of post-release supervision.

Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.

Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.

Photo from NYPD social media

Nearly two weeks after the New York City Police Department began the search to find who shoved a revered 87-year-old Broadway singing coach, leading to her death, a woman formerly from Port Jefferson turned herself in to police.

According to NYPD, Lauren Pazienza, 26, turned herself in March 22 and was charged with manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault. Some media outlets have reported that Pazienza now lives in Astoria with her fiancé.

On March 10, New York City police received a report that at approximately 8:25 p.m. an individual approached 87-year-old Barbara Gustern from behind and allegedly pushed the victim. The incident happened in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.

The fall caused Gustern to hit her head, and Pazienza allegedly fled westbound, according to the NYPD. EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to a hospital.

Gustern, who also coached Blondie singer Debbie Harry, died of her injuries on March 15. According to The New York Times, Gustern was able to give a description of her assailant before her death.

Pazienza’s social media presence included being listed as a communications and events coordinator for French furniture company Roche Bobois on LinkedIn.

A representative from Roche Bobois said she resigned from the company in December of 2021.

She used Zola.com for her wedding website and registry with her nuptials scheduled for June. Both her LinkedIn account and wedding information have been taken down.

Her attorney, Arthur Aidala of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins of New York, said, “We are pleased that the court granted bail to Ms. Pazienza and we expect her to be released in the coming days. We anxiously await the production of the discovery material by the District Attorney’s Office. The Pazienza family joins the rest of the city in grieving the loss of Barbara Gustern.” 

Pazienza, who is a 2013 graduate of Ward Melville High School, is due back in court March 25.

File photo

Suffolk County Police have arrested a Coram man for causing the death of Shantel Scott, who was found unconscious in her Central Islip home on July 3.

Following an investigation by Homicide Squad detectives, Bryan Bethea, 29, of Coram-Mount Sinai Road, was charged with first-degree manslaughter . Bethea was arraigned in Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverhead on Aug. 15.

Shantel Scott was found unconscious in her home, located at 28 Naples Ave., by other residents in the early morning hours of July 3 following a party at the home. Scott, 27, was transported by private vehicle to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy was be performed by the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

Attorney information was not yet available. A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Ada Robinson mugshot from SCPD

An incident between a homeless couple in a North Shore Home Depot parking lot has left the man dead and the woman behind bars.

The Suffolk County Police Department said on Wednesday morning that detectives had arrested a woman at the scene of a fatal stabbing the night before and charged her with first-degree manslaughter.

Patrol officers from the 6th Precinct were responding to a 911 call in the parking lot of the Home Depot on Middle Country Road in Coram close to 7:30 p.m. when they found 55-year-old Ralph Anthony had been stabbed, police said. He was pronounced dead at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue.

Homicide Unit detectives arrested 60-year-old Ada Robinson at the scene.

Both the victim and the alleged attacker are homeless, according to police. The Homicide Unit’s Lt. Kevin Beyrer said in a phone interview Wednesday that the pair was “at least common-law husband and wife” — they had been a couple for a long period of time, he said, but he wasn’t sure if the two were legally married. They frequented the Coram area where the stabbing took place.

Attorney information for Robinson on the first-degree manslaughter charge was not immediately available on Wednesday morning.

She has previous charges against her of assault with a weapon, stemming from an incident with Anthony on May 9, 2015, according to the New York State court system’s online database. Her attorney on the one felony and one misdemeanor charge for that incident, Central Islip-based Robin Stanco, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Wednesday morning.

Beyrer confirmed that Anthony was also the victim in the 2015 assault case.

Detectives are still investigating the stabbing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392.

This version corrects the date Ada Robinson allegedly assaulted Ralph Anthony in 2015.

Samuel White mugshot from SCPD

Detectives have charged a man with first-degree manslaughter after his alleged victim was found unconscious and covered in blood.

The Suffolk County Police Department said early Thursday morning that 32-year-old Brentwood resident Samuel White was arrested for allegedly murdering Edwin Rivera, who was found lying on Clinton Avenue in Huntington the previous day.

A 911 caller had reported the body, and officers found the 39-year-old from Bay Shore on the ground next to his 2015 Mercedes. He was pronounced dead at Huntington Hospital.

Police had said Wednesday that the death had been ruled criminal and detectives were waiting on an autopsy from the county medical examiner’s office to determine how he died.

No attorney information was available for the murder suspect, White, on the New York State court system’s online database.

Rivera’s was the second body found in the Huntington area this week. Just a few days earlier, officers had found the body of 33-year-old William Sarcenolima, of Huntington Station, partially in the roadway on West Hills Road. He too was pronounced dead at Huntington Hospital and his body was transported to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. Police have not yet announced a cause of death, but said at the time the body was found that Sarcenolima may have been a victim of violence.

Anyone with information is asked to call Homicide Squad detectives at 631-852-6392 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Thomas Stavola mugshot from the DA's office

A cardiologist has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, drunk driving and leaving the scene of a Smithtown car crash, 16 months after he killed a fellow medical professional and mother of three.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday that Setauket doctor Thomas Stavola, now 56, will spend two years in prison and five years on probation after last year’s crash, during which his Audi broadsided victim Monica Peterman’s Mercedes at the intersection of Routes 25 and 111. It was shortly before 4 a.m., and Peterman, 45, had been on her way to work as an X-ray technician at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center. Instead, the Middle Island resident was pronounced dead at that same hospital she had worked for more than 10 years.

District Attorney Tom Spota said previously that the doctor, who sustained minor injuries in the crash, left the scene without helping Peterman.

“Witnesses who came upon the crash scene said the defendant suddenly left and began walking west on Route 25,” Spota said in a previous statement. “What I found most troubling is the fact that a physician chose not to render any kind of aid or use his cellphone to call 911 to get some assistance for a seriously injured motorist.”

The DA said those witnesses gave police officers a description of Stavola, and a sergeant on his way to the scene spotted the man about 500 feet from the crash, walking quickly with his head down.

According to the DA’s office, Stavola had a .10 blood alcohol content 90 minutes after the fatal incident.

The impact of the collision had embedded Stavola’s front license plate into the side door of Peterman’s car.

Stavola originally pleaded not guilty to his charges. The victim’s family filed a $20 million civil lawsuit against him last year, saying they hoped it would help make punishments stricter for drunk drivers.

But Stavola changed his plea and Peterman’s family supported the two-year sentence and probation, the DA’s office said. Husband Russell Peterman said in a statement that his family wanted to let go of the anger they felt toward Stavola and realized he deserved another chance “to go back to helping people.”