Justice For Marie McSweeney, Queens Woman Slain In Yonkers 10 Years Ago

For the relatives of Marie McSweeney, justice was served on Tuesday when a Yonkers man was sentenced on charges of manslaughter for having dropped a piece of asphalt through McSweeney’s windshield while she was driving on a Parkway in Yonkers over 10 years ago.

McSweeney, 48, of Queens, NY, was driving southbound on Sprain Brook Parkway on April 21, 2004 together with her 87 year-old mother when a large piece of asphalt came flying through the windshield, fatally hitting McSweeney on the left side of her head. McSweeney’s car then uncontrollably traveled for several hundred feet before it veered off into a wooden area near the Desmond Avenue ramp. Both McSweeney and her mother were transported to Jacobi Hospital where McSweeney was later pronounced dead.

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Alberto Plasencia, 28, of Yonkers, faces up to six years in prison for the death of Marie McSweeney over 10 years ago.

Courtesy of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office

On Tuesday, ten years after McSweeney’s death, the perpetrator was sentenced. Alberto Plasencia, 28, of Yonkers, was sentenced to two to six years in jail after pleading guilty earlier this year.

“I made a terrible mistake that took Mrs. McSweeney away from her family,” said Plasencia at his sentencing hearing, reported CBS New York. “Even though I was on drugs that day, I’m not going to use that as an excuse. The drugs did not push the rock; I did.”

Plasencia, who threw the 10-inch long asphalt piece from the Kimball Avenue Bridge overpass, was sentenced to an indeterminate term of two to six years in prison.

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In the wake of McSweeney’s death there were very few leads for law enforcement officials to go on. The case subsequently remained cold until 2009 when it was re-opened as a result of new information but it would take five more years to find the person responsible.

Robert Wolf, a Deputy Communications Director at the District Attorney’s Office in White Plains, said that the information that led to the re-opening of the case in 2009 would not be disclosed due to confidentiality. However, Wolf did say the gruesome nature of the case was a possible reason for its re-opening.

“Police departments bring cold cases back up, reviews them and tries to pursue them again on a regular basis,” said Wolf. “But this case in particular was certainly so horrific in that it seemed so random. It was really not something that [law enforcement] wanted to let lie.”

View CBS News’ coverage of the sentencing below.

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