A Queens woman is heading to prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the 2011 stabbing death of her disabled son. What makes the story even worse is that the victim, 39-year-old Rene Veras, begged his mother to kill him the day of his death.
What makes the story even more heartbreaking is that his mother, 59-year-old Migdalia Veras, tried to commit suicide immediately after stabbing her son. She failed, and will now spend the better part of the next decade behind bars.
Acting Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt sentenced Veras to seven years in prison yesterday after she pleaded guilty earlier this year to first-degree manslaughter. Initially, Veras was charged with second-degree murder.
On March 2, 2011, Rene Veras — who suffered from cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair — approached his mother with a knife and “begged” her to to kill him, which is a request he’d been making “for months,” according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Cerebral Palsy is a developmental disability that affects body movements and muscle coordination. It causes tremendous pain and sleep disorders. It’s one of the most horrible diseases known to man, so it’s no surprise Veras wanted out.
The elder Veras told police that after an argument about his request, she took the knife and stabbed her son twice in the chest. She then smothered him with a
pillow when she noticed he was still breathing.
The medical examiner’s report about the stabbing confirmed much of Veras’ story.
Immediately after killing her own son, Migdalia Veras — who’s undergone decades of psychiatric treatment — tried to commit suicide by cutting her wrists and stabbing herself in the chest. She was treated at the New York Hospital Center of Queens and survived. She’s been in police custody ever since.
Despite the rather horrific circumstances of the case, Brown feels the prison sentence was warranted.
“The sentence imposed today punishes [Veras} for her senseless act,” he says. “Moreover, she must now live with the knowledge that she alone is responsible for her own son’s demise.
That’s one way to look at it. Another is that she spared him a lifetime of pain and agony.
Regardless, she’s going to prison, where Brown says she will continue to get psychiatric treatment.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 31, 2012