A homeless Queens man may have landed himself a nice, warm bed — unfortunately for him, it will likely be at a state prison, and if prosecutors have their way, he won’t be allowed to leave for up to 25 years.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says 47-year-old Eric Cherry’s been found guilty of manslaughter in the 2008 beating death of a man who only made Cherry’s acquaintance when he tried to get him to stop creeping out his female neighbor. Cherry responded by beating 65-year-old Nicholas Nowillo to death.
“[Cherry] stands convicted of a particularly brutal and senseless
assault of a man who had come to the aid of his neighbor. His family
must now cope with the difficult task of adjusting to a life empty of
the presence of a husband, father and grandfather,” Brown says.
“[Cherry’s actions clearly show that he is a threat to society and
deserving of a maximum prison sentence.”
On September 3, 2008, Cherry, 47, — whose last known address was
the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence at 21-10 Borden Avenue in Long
Island City — was standing outside of the home of Nowillo’s female
neighbor and “staring at her” as she got out of her car. The neighbor
asked Nowillo if he’d come outside to make sure Cherry didn’t attack
Nowillo came outside to protect his neighbor — and saw that Cherry had moved to the front of his house, at which point he started banging and kicking Nowillo’s car.
Nowillo told Cherry to knock it off, and to leave his home. Cherry
responded by punching Nowillo in the face and throwing him to the
ground, where he kicked and punched him multiple times — which the
medical examiner determined caused his death (an autopsy revealed that
Nowillo suffered nine broken ribs and blunt-force trauma to his body).
Cherry was convicted yesterday after a three-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak. He faces up to 25 years in prison when he’s sentenced on June 6.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 24, 2012