By Naeisha Rose
A homeless man who was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter after a three-week bench trial was sentenced to prison Nov. 16 for the beating death of his victim, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Surveillance video caught Danthony Horton, 36, on camera as he beat a man by a bus stop located at 21-50 Mott Ave. in Far Rockaway within the vicinity of the 101 Precinct, according to police.
Horton, who has no known address, came up to Ricardo Cruz who was at the Q114 stop on May 26, and punched the victim in the face causing him to lose consciousness, according to trial records. After the victim was knocked to the ground, two bystanders intervened to help Cruz until the defendant left.
“This is a truly troubling case,” Brown said.
Horton departed the scene and the bystanders propped the 57-year-old victim up against a store gate, then left, according to a criminal complaint.
After punching the victim in the face between 4:15 am and 4:30 am, and scurrying away from the bystanders, Horton returned to the scene to kick Cruz in the head five times, only to later rob the victim and leave him for dead, showed the trial records.
“When the victim regained consciousness, the defendant allegedly returned to the scene and continued his assault on the victim before robbing him and leaving him to die,” Brown said.
Cruz was taken to a local Queens’ hospital and pronounced dead, the DA said.
The 101st Precinct conducted the investigation into his death and arrested the defendant two blocks away from the murder scene, according to the DA.
Senior ADA Rachel Buchter of the Homicide Trials Bureau prosecuted the case.
Before his sentencing, Horton was facing 25 years in prison, according to Judge Deborah Modica who over saw the case.
The 36-year-old was sentenced to 22 years in prison, which will be followed by five years post release supervision, according to Modica.
“The Court has now sentenced the defendant to a lengthy term of incarceration,” Brown said.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose