When 43-year-old George Villanueva pushed a cop at his apartment last year, he probably didn’t expect the officer to die. He probably didn’t think it could land him in the hoosegow for the next three decades, either. But it might.
Villanueva was convicted of first-degree aggravated manslaughter today after fatally pushing NYPD Officer Alain Schaberger off a stairwell at his Brooklyn apartment in March of last year (he was found not guilty of a murder charge, which could have landed him in prison for life). He’s now looking at more than 30 years in prison when he’s sentenced later this month.
On March 13, 2011, police were called to the Boerum Hill apartment of
Villanueva’s girlfriend in response to a domestic violence incident
between the couple. When police showed up, Villanueva was gone.
According to Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes, officers then
went to Villanueva’s, apartment where they found him and brought him outside on
the stoop of the building. When Schaberger attempted to slap cuffs on Villanueva,
Villanueva pushed him over a railing. Schaberger fell over the railing
and landed head-first on the landing of a basement stairwell. He was
pronounced dead at Lutheran Hospital.
In addition to the manslaughter conviction, which carries up to a
30-year prison sentence, Villanueva also was convicted of aggravated
criminal contempt for violating an order of protection his girlfriend
had filed against him. He faces up to seven years for that conviction.
Because of his criminal history, Hynes says the sentences could be
enhanced (Hynes’ office didn’t immediately respond when asked about
Villanueva’s previous crimes).
Villanueva’s sentencing is scheduled for May 23.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 2, 2012