A second suspect has been arrested in the murder of 74 year old Maria Hernandez on Jan. 18 in her third floor apartment on W. 83rd St. and prosecutors now say there was evidence she was also sexually assaulted.
Prosecutors thus far have not added charges from that allegation to the murder and burglary charges both suspects face.
Terrence Moore, a 53 year old man from Brooklyn, was arrested on Jan. 24 around 11 pm and charged with murder, attempted murder and burglary, a police spokesman said. Prosecutors said he was captured in a Brooklyn homeless shelter and had in his possession a cart that surveillance video at the scene had seen him taking away from the suspects apartment building the night of the murder.
Hernandez was tied up by the suspects, police said and was discovered “unconscious and unresponsive” shortly before 10 pm on the night of the murder by her sister, who called 911. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.
The Medical Examiner said the cause of death was “homicidal asphyxia including compression of neck.” Police said that her hands and feet had been tied up by the suspects.
Lashawn Mackey, 47, a former handyman in the building, had been arrested on Jan. 20 and charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of burglary. When he was being led from the 20th Pct, he was quoted telling a NY Post reporter, “I didn’t do it.”
Cops suspect that the original motive was robbery, but that Hernandez was suffocated in the course of the robbery after her hands and feet were bound and she was put face down.
Prosecutors said Mackey had broken into a custodian’s room in the building, stolen some tools and disabled the dvd equipment that would have recorded his coming and goings on the night of the murder. He had worked in the building as part of a work release program after he was released from prison last year, prosecutors said, and still had a key to the victim’s apartment at the time of the incident. Cops had noticed at the time of the murder that there was no sign of forced entry.