BY TRONE DOWD
A Far Rockaway man has been convicted of beating a 57-year-old man to death in 2016, the Queens district attorney said.
Danthony Horton, 36, was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter. Horton faces up to 25 years in prison.
“This was a senseless act of violence,” Queens DA Richard Brown said of the case.
The incident occurred on May 26, 2016 in front of 21-50 Mott Ave. At some point between 4:15 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., Horton approached the victim, Ricardo Cruz, and punched him in face for an undetermined reason. Cruz was knocked out cold before two good Samaritans intervened in the assault. The two men chased Horton away and then checked to make sure that Cruz could get back to his feet.
Just minutes after the two left Cruz alone, Horton returned to finish the deadly assault. After knocking him to the ground, Horton repeatedly kicked the defenseless man in the head until he was once again knocked unconscious. The assault continued and Horton robbed Cruz and left the scene.
Authorities said that Cruz was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police officers at the 101st Precinct found Horton just two blocks away from the scene of the crime the same day.
“The defendant had already punched the victim and knocked him unconscious when two passers-by intervened and retaliated by striking the defendant, until he left the older man alone,” the DA said. “But once the two men left the scene, the defendant returned to the victim and rained blow after blow on the defenseless man. The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration for his actions.”
Queens Supreme Court Justice Deborah Modica presided over the case. Horton’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 16.