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Horton returned and kicked Cruz in the head over and over again, then left the man for dead on the Mott Avenue sidewalk.
By Forum Staff
A homeless man convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the brutal beating of a 57-year-old man in May of 2016, will face 25 years to life in prison when he faces sentencing next week.
The defendant is identified as Danthony A. Horton, 36, with no known address and was found guilty of the heinous attack following a three-week-long bench trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Deborah Modica.
Ricardo Cruz was knocked to the ground after Horton punched him once in the face, in the early morning hours in front of 21-50 Mott Ave in the Far Rockaway section of Queens. Cruz was then repeatedly kicked in the head and left for dead, in an attack that was captured on video surveillance.
“This was a senseless act of violence. 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,” said DA Brown. “But once the two men left the scene, the defendant returned to the victim and reigned blow after blow on the defenseless man.”
According to trial records, between 4:15 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. on May 26, 2016, Horton punched the victim, knocked him to the ground and rendered him unconscious. Two men intervened and fought with the defendant until he left the immediate area. They propped the victim up against a store gate and then left the scene. Moments later, the defendant returned and kicked Mr. Cruz in the head over and over again. The defendant then left the man for dead on the sidewalk. Mr. Cruz was taken to a local Queens hospital where he was pronounced dead. Horton was apprehended two blocks away from the scene.