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Man admits to killing wife, leaving baby to die

A Jamaica man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the October 2004 choking death of his wife — whose body was discovered in a parked SUV five days after she was killed — along with her two-year-old daughter, who was rescued by firefighters.
“The defendant has admitted to a shocking crime of violence against his wife who leaves behind a young daughter, who narrowly escaped death herself at the hands of the defendant,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “His conduct was violent and irresponsible and the sentence to be imposed is, under the circumstances, more than warranted.”
Leonardo Almonte, 40, of 139-11 115th Avenue in Jamaica, a bodega owner, had been held without bail since his arrest in October 2004. He pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and first-degree reckless endangerment.
Sentencing is set for December 4, at which time Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert J. Hanophy indicated that he would sentence Almonte to a determinate term of 20 years in prison.
In pleading guilty, Almonte admitted that he caused the death of his wife, Cesarina Colon, 32, on the evening of October 23, 2004, by throwing her to the floor inside the family’s residence at 139-11 115th Avenue. He admitted to then straddling her body and choking her. Afterwards, he left her body and her two-year-old child, Rosie Batista, inside a vehicle that he parked at 95th Avenue and Cresskill Place about a mile from their home.
According to the DA, the baby girl was rescued on October 28, 2004, when a passerby saw the woman’s body and the child inside the vehicle and called 9-1-1.
Fire Department firefighters assigned to Truck 303 responded to the scene, broke into the vehicle and rescued the baby girl who was strapped in a car seat.

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