BY TRONE DOWD
A Queens man was sentenced 18 years in prison earlier this month for the carjacking and shooting of a 53-year-old Maryland mother in South Ozone Park last year.
Donald Warren, 55, and his accomplice, John Howard, had been involved in a number of violent carjackings in the Southeast Queens area, according to acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde.
The South Ozone Park incident took place on Jan. 21, 2016. Warren and Howard approached a parked vehicle outside of a Hampton Inn located at 144-10 135th Ave. The victim’s daughter, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the car, was threatened and kept in the vehicle as Warren entered and drove around in the parking lot. When the girl’s mother left the hotel, Warren then exited the car and demanded that she hand over her purse. The mother refused, striking Warren in the face. Warren responded by shooting her in the chest and fleeing the scene.
The mother was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where she received surgery and survived the attack.
“Donald Warren committed violent carjackings, culminating in the callous shooting of a woman for refusing to hand over her purse,” Rohde said. “Today’s sentence punishes him for the disregard he showed for human life.”
An investigation stemming from his arrest also tied him to a Dec. 28 carjacking during which he and Howard stole a Mercedes Benz at gunpoint in front of a Best Western hotel in Jamaica. The duo also robbed the driver of his wallet before peeling off.
“Donald Warren and John Howard would prowl neighborhoods in Nassau and Queens looking for unsuspecting victims to carjack or rob at gunpoint,” said ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Benedict. “Warren deserves every day of the sentence received, and we hope his lengthy imprisonment provides some solace to the victims of his crimes.”
Howard has already pleaded guilty to several carjackings and firearm-related charges. He is currently awaiting a sentencing. Warren will face supervised release upon the completion of his 18-year sentence.