NY man convicted of manslaughter in cop’s death

May 2, 2012, 6:52 PM

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – A man accused of shoving a city police officer off a stoop to his death during a domestic violence arrest last year was convicted Wednesday of manslaughter.

George Villanueva, 42, also was convicted of a criminal contempt charge, but was acquitted of a more serious murder charge that would have sent him to prison for life. He faces 30 years when he is sentenced May 23.

Police Officer Alain Schaberger was responding to a domestic violence call made by Villanueva’s girlfriend, who claimed Villanueva had threatened to kill her, on March 13, 2011.

Officers tracked him to another apartment and stood with him outside on the stoop. While Schaberger was trying to handcuff Villanueva, he shoved the officer over a railing, prosecutors said. Schaberger fell nine feet, breaking his neck.

Villanueva’s lawyers argued the death was an accident and that Schaberger lost his footing because he was knocked by another officer. No one noticed he had fallen until after they were pulling Villanueva down the steps, attorney Kleon Andreadis said.

Schaberger, 42, was a 10-year member of the police department assigned to the 84th Precinct and was engaged to be married. His parents said outside court they were disappointed by the verdict.

“This man has to pay,” said his mother, May Schaberger. “He can still see his mom. My son … I don’t know if I die I’ll see him on the other side or not.”

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the police department’s largest union, said they will pursue the maximum sentence the law allows.

“We see this as a sacred obligation to our deceased brother-in-arms, Alain Schaberger, and we will continue our steadfast support of the family that he leaves behind,” he said.

After the verdict was read, Villanueva’s family burst out into sobs and screams. His mother, Josefa Villanueva, howled that her son was not guilty and that she loved him. Emergency services officers were called to the courtroom and she left the courthouse in an ambulance.

As Villanueva, 43, was being led away he mouthed “I love you” to his family.

Schaberger was the first officer to die in the line of duty since 2009. Since his death, at least four other officers have been killed or seriously wounded.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - The seal of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System is displayed ...

Federal Reserve set to impose smaller hike could hint of fewer increases

The Federal Reserve is poised this week to raise its benchmark interest rate for an eighth time since March.
18 hours ago
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)...
Associated Press

President Biden announces COVID-19 emergencies to end May 11

President Joe Biden informed Congress on Monday that he will end the twin national emergencies for addressing COVID-19 on May 11.
18 hours ago
(AP File Photo/Geneva Heffernan)...
Associated Press

Valley woman among 3 killed in shooting at Los Angeles rental home

Three women, including one from Buckeye, were killed in a weekend shooting at a short-term rental home in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood.
18 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation photo)...
Associated Press

Should federal grants be in favor of highway repair over expansion?

Advocates for highway construction are concerned their projects are getting shortchanged in the competition for grant money under the new infrastructure law.
2 days ago
Demonstrators block traffic protesting the death of Tyre Nichols on January 27, 2023 in Memphis, Te...
Associated Press

Memphis police chief disbands unit responsible in beating of Tyre Nichols

The unit is composed of three teams of about 30 officers and had been inactive since Tyre Nichols' Jan. 7 arrest.
3 days ago
The image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows Tyre Nichols on the g...
Associated Press

Memphis authorities release video in Tyre Nichols’ death

Video showing Memphis officers beating a Black man was made public Friday after they were charged with murder in the death of Tyre Nichols.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
NY man convicted of manslaughter in cop’s death