New York Daily News

May 2, 2012


 

Brooklyn crook convicted of shoving a veteran cop to his death from a Boerum Hill stoop

Jury says he's not guilty of steeper charge of intentional murder

By Oren Yaniv AND Corky Siemaszko
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Police officer and 9/11 first responder Alonzo Harris's discussed carcinogens found on his uniform during a press conference on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Hagen for New York Daily News

Jesse Ward for New York Daily News

George Villanueva was convicted of fatally pushing a cop off a Brooklyn stoop in March 2011.

Throw the book at him.

That was the demand of slain police Officer Alain Schaberger’s parents Wednesday after a jury convicted an ex-con of pushing their son from a Brooklyn stoop to his death.

“This man has to pay,” the cop’s mom, May Schaberger, said. “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.”

Paul Schaberger said the conviction of George Villanueva for aggravated manslaughter gave them “a sense of justice being served.”

“It doesn’t bring back our son so we can’t say we’re happy,” he said.

Police union President Patrick Lynch, who had attended virtually every day of Villanueva’s trial, vowed to be at his May 23 sentencing — and his subsequent parole hearings.

“We will make sure he’ll never see the light of day,” he said.

Villanueva, 42, was found not guilty of intentionally murdering Schaberger, but still faces a maximum penalty of 37 years to life in prison because he has at least six prior felony convictions.

After the verdict was read,

Villanueva turned to look at his mother but court officers stepped in and forced him to face forward.

“I love you,” Villanueva told his mom as they led him out of the Brooklyn courtroom.

Overcome with grief, Josefa Villanueva collapsed on the courtroom floor and began screaming in Spanish.

“He didn’t do it,” she yelled. “He’s innocent.”

Had Villanueva been convicted of the most serious murder charge, he could have gotten life in prison without parole.

Villanueva, whose rap sheet includes nearly 30 arrests, shoved the 42-year-old officer off a Boerum Hill stoop in March 2011 as he was being collared for beating up his girlfriend, Kim Dykstra, police said.

Dykstra had taken out a restraining order against Villanueva.

Schaberger and several officers had gone over to Villanueva’s parents’ house to pick him up for violating that order and brought along Dykstra to identify him.

Rather that going quietly, Villanueva exploded into a rage as the cops were cuffing him and pushed Schaberger, police said.

Schaberger fell 9 feet and broke his neck.

Villanueva’s lawyer cited eyewitnesses as saying Schaberger's female partner knocked the cop over a low railing.

“Clearly, he never lunged at the officer who fell over the rail or pushed him over the rail," Kleon Andreadis said of his client.

Nobody noticed Schaberger had fallen until after Villanueva has been Tasered and subdued, the lawyer said.

In a jailhouse interview, Villanueva told The Daily News the fall “was an accident.”

“I did not know anyone had fallen,” he said. “The only thing I’m guilty of is domestic abuse.”

Prosecutors, however, insisted Villanueva was to blame and put Dykstra on the stand to testify against him.

A juror who asked not to be identified said they did not find Dykstra’s testimony credible. They also didn’t believe Josefa Villanueva or Villanueva’s niece.

oyaniv@nydailynews.com