A 36-year-old homeless man was sentenced to 22 years in prison on a first-degree manslaughter conviction after he beat a 57-year-old man to death in 2016, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced on Thursday.
The homeless man, Danthony Horton, approached the victim, Ricardo Cruz, and punched him in the face at some time between 4:15 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. on May 26, 2016 in front of 21-50 Mott Ave. in Far Rockaway.
After Cruz fell to the ground unconscious, two bystanders intervened and chased Horton off. They left the victim propped up against a store gate and departed, but Horton returned and repeatedly kicked Cruz in the head.
Cruz was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The cause of the altercation has not been disclosed.
The conviction comes following a three-week bench trial earlier this month, Brown’s office said. Horton will serve 22 years in addition to five years’ post release supervision.
“This was a brutal and senseless act of violence,” Brown said in a statement. “The victim had already been struck so hard by the defendant that he was unconscious and laying slumped on the ground. Although two male passers-by physically stopped the defendant from continuing his assault, the defendant returned to the scene and kicked the defenseless man repeatedly in the head. The court has now sentenced the defendant to a lengthy term of incarceration.”