A Sunnyside man admitted to delivering the blow that caused a man’s death outside of a neighborhood bar last year, prosecutors announced Friday.
Steven O’Brien, 26, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, for punching 21-year-old Daniel “Danny” McGee, causing him to fall to the ground and hitting his head on the pavement. McGee died from the blunt force trauma.
“A senseless altercation outside a bar turned tragic and a family is without a loved one. The facts surrounding the tragic death of Danny McGee fall into a category of cases that has become known as ‘one punch homicides’ – where one punch causes a death and the only intent that can be proved is to cause physical injury,” said Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “Under the cases governing our prosecutions in these circumstances we can only charge third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. We believe that is an inadequate response by society to a death. We call upon the Legislature to pass a law making an intentional assault that results in death a felony.”
According to charges, at 3:25 a.m. on Nov. 22, 2018, O’Brien and McGee were outside of a bar on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside. After getting into a dispute, O’Brien punched McGee once in the side of his head.
McGee, who was known for playing Gaelic football in his native Ireland, fell to the ground striking his head against the sidewalk. He was taken to a hospital, where he ultimately died as a result of blunt force trauma to the his head.
O’Brien is due to return to court for sentencing on Jan. 8, 2020, where he will be sentenced to 6 months in jail. During the court proceedings, acting DA Ryan note that O’Brien expressed remorse for his actions.
“The family of the victim in this case understood the limitations in prosecuting this case and were supportive of this outcome,” said acting DA Ryan. “I am hopeful that this resolution brings them some solace and comfort. I would like to convey our deepest sympathies to the victim’s parents and brother and sister for their loss.”