YONKERS, N.Y. – A Yonkers man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges in the death of a Bronx woman, who was killed in 2004 when a slab of asphalt was tossed from a parkway overpass.
Alberto Plasencia, 26, of 611 Bronx River Road, was arraigned Tuesday in state Supreme Court in White Plains where he was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Marie McSweeney.
Plasencia’s bail was set Tuesday at $400,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 26. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
Prosecutors say that on April 24, 2004, between 4:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., McSweeney, 48, was driving along the Sprain Brook Parkway, near the Kimball Avenue bridge in Yonkers, when Plasencia tossed a large piece of asphalt from the overpass and it crashed through the driver’s side of her car's windshield.
McSweeney was struck on the left side of the head, District Attorney Janet DiFiore’s office said in a statement.
The car continued about a third of a mile on the parkway, striking a shoulder guardrail support beam before veering back onto the shoulder and traveling across the Bronx River Parkway split before coming to a stop in a woods near the Desmond Avenue off ramp.
Both McSweeney and her 87-year-old mother, who was in the passenger seat, were taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. McSweeney was pronounced dead there. Her mother was not injured.
Plasencia was arrested on Jan. 22 by Yonkers Cold Case detectives.
“Every motorist’s nightmare, traveling under a roadway overpass wondering if an object will be thrown from it,” DiFiore said in a statement following the arraignment. “This defendant did just that, throwing a large chunk of asphalt into traffic, ending the life of a 48-year-old woman as surely as if he pulled a trigger.”