Woman who pushed stranger in front of a train sentenced to 20 years
Woman sentenced for pushing a commuter to her death in front of a subway.
A New York judge has sentenced a woman who according to her attorney was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, to 20 years in jail for pushing a stranger to her death in front of a subway.
Last month, Melanie Liverpool-Turner, 33, pleaded guilty to murder charges for shoving Connie Watton, 49, in front of an oncoming subway train in Times Square. The Nov. 7, 2016 attack shocked the city and the country due to its gruesome, random and unprovoked nature.
On Friday at the defendant’s sentencing, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus gave Liverpool-Turner the maximum allowable sentence for her actions, which he called a New Yorker’s worst nightmare, according to the New York Daily News.
“Thousands of people ride the subway every day,” the judge said, reported the Daily News. “This is truly the quintessential urban nightmare — when a total stranger takes it upon themselves to snuff out someone else’s life.”
Robert Watton, Connie’s husband, spoke at Liverpool-Turner’s sentencing, in which he read an emotional victim impact statement letting the court know how devastating the crime was to him.
“I am haunted when imagining what happened to Connie that day by this demented piece of garbage. This murderer. Connie didn’t deserve what happened to her,” Watton said, according to the New York Daily News. “Melanie means darkness. You are heartless and you have no soul.”
Watton said his wife had immigrated to the United States from the Philippines when she was 16 and had spent her life in service to others, including sending money home monthly to help put her sister and cousins through college.
“This murdering psychopath will be eligible for parole at the age that Connie lived until. Why should you get a second chance?” Watton asked Liverpool-Turner, according to The New York Daily News. “Connie doesn’t get a second chance. She is a danger to the public, and I wish nothing but life behind bars for this psychopath.”
Aaron Wallenstein, who represented Liverpool-Turner, said prior to the incident, his client’s record was “unblemished.” He said Liverpool-Turner suffered a tough childhood in Trinidad, which included sexual abuse, and that the system ultimately failed to protect her.
“There is no disputing the loss of life of Mrs. Connie Watton is nothing short of a tragedy,” Wallenstein told the court.
Liverpool-Turner had been admitted to Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric ward after witnessing someone commit suicide by jumping in front of a train at Union Square and telling police that she had pushed. She also reportedly told the police officers that “I hear voices. I push people in front of trains.” She was released from the hospital only to kill Watton five days later reports AP.
Robert Watton filed civil suits against Liverpool-Turner and the city’s Health & Hospitals Corporation claiming they failed to treat Liverpool-Turner properly. He is also suing the New York City Transit Authority.