The Murder of Maria Hernandez: Suspect Lashawn Mackey spent 20 years in prison
Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised
UPPER WEST SIDE, MANHATTAN: A Brooklyn man accused of the brutal murder of an elderly Upper West Side woman was a former super of her building who once did 20 years in prison for gutting a man in the streets, prosecutors alleged. Ex-con Lashawn Mackey, 47, is charged with murder, attempted murder, and two counts of burglary in the slaying of Maria Hernandez, 74, who was discovered bound and gagged under a pile of clothes inside her apartment on West 83rd Street, Wednesday night, January 18.
The elderly woman suffered severe injuries according to authorities. “This is a particularly brutal homicide,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal said at Mackey’s arraignment. “She had extensive injuries, including bruising and abrasions to her face, her arms, her back, and lacerations to both the vaginal and rectal areas,” Rosenthal said, as per New York Post.
“This was clearly a premeditated crime where the defendant went to the basement prior to the assault to break into the super’s office and dismantle the security surveillance systems located therein,” the ADA added to Judge Felicia Menin. Mackey was arrested on Saturday, January 21, in connection to Hernandez's death. An autopsy report later determined the 74-year-old woman died of "homicidal asphyxia including neck compression."
Lashawn Mackey's Criminal History
Lashawn Mackey is reportedly a career criminal, who was awaiting his next court appearance for another crime before brutally killing Hernandez. In 2000, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison on first-degree assault conviction charges. Mackey served nearly 20 years before his release in 2019. The victim, in that case, was callously stabbed 15 times and left lying in the middle of a Brooklyn street with “his intestines hanging out of his body,” Rosenthal said in court on Sunday, January 22.
Furthermore, 2 years later he was again arrested and sent to prison in October 2021 but was released within a month. However, it is unknown why Mackey was convicted and sent to jail for that case. Mackey's last sting was on August 16, after he was again apprehended and charged with grand larceny, burglary, and petit larceny charges in Brooklyn, online court records stated, as per the outlet. However, he pleaded not guilty on December 21 and was due for his court appearance the next month.