Skip to comments.Herrera guilty of murder, rape in Nagle killing
Posted on 04/06/2006 12:02:41 PM PDT by Houmatt
NEW CITY, NY Mary Nagle's family wept yesterday as the jury foreman pronounced Ronald Douglas Herrera Castellanos guilty of raping and murdering the New City mother inside her bedroom last April.
Herrera, 30, faces a maximum term of life in prison without parole when he is sentenced May 15 by state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly.
The foreman, Matthew Kerewski, declared Herrera guilty of all 15 felony charges, including seven counts of first-degree murder and single counts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse in the sexual mutilation of the 42-year-old woman on April 29.
The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours.
Muffled cheers and tears greeted the verdict inside the courtroom after an emotional, two-week trial during which family members, friends and jurors cried when seeing photos of the dead woman and graphic descriptions of how she died.
Nagle's husband, Daniel Nagle, squeezed a relative's hand and looked upward after hearing that the man who sadistically killed his wife was convicted.
Mary Nagle's sisters, brother and friends shed tears and hugged as the verdict was read.
"This doesn't bring my sister back," Donna McGrath said. "We're happy with the verdict and glad this part is behind us."
McGrath said one of the hardest parts of the trial was listening to Herrera testify in his own defense Tuesday.
Herrera, a Guatemalan native living illegally in the United States, claimed he woke up on top of Nagle but had been too intoxicated by alcohol and cocaine from the night before to remember beating, slashing, raping and choking her to death.
"It was difficult to listen to him up there," McGrath said, tears rolling down her face. "He showed no type of remorse or emotion. The travesty is Dan is without a wife, and their two children are without their mother."
District Attorney Michael Bongiorno said he would ask the judge to sentence Herrera to life without parole. Bongiorno and Chief Assistant District Attorney Louis Valvo both prosecuted Herrera, taking turns questioning witnesses.
"The most important thing that occurred is we have justice for Mary Nagle. ... To the Nagle family, hopefully this verdict brings some comfort to them at this time," Bongiorno said afterward.
Daniel Nagle called yesterday "a day that brings back the sorrow but a day that justice was done."
"It's been a very tough year," he said, thanking the prosecutors, Clarkstown police and county residents for supporting him and his family.
Herrera's lawyer, Barry F. Weiss, said Herrera would appeal the convictions. Weiss said he wasn't surprised at the verdict, though he stood behind Herrera's claim that he was too drunk to intend to kill Nagle.
"From the first day I represented him, I expected this verdict," Weiss said. "We disagree with the verdict, but it was arrived at in a court of law, and it will be challenged."
Herrera, who lived on Union Road in Spring Valley, worked for the contractor Color-On when he was supposed to power wash the rear deck at the 21 Tamarac Ave. home. Instead, Herrera sneaked inside the house and attacked Nagle in her bedroom, where she was preparing for a tennis game at the Nyack Field Club.
Armed with a green-handled box cutter, Herrera slashed and beat Nagle almost beyond recognition as he raped her for at least 30 minutes and mutilated her with the box cutter. Part of her earlobe was cut off, and she was cut across her hands while trying to fight off her attacker.
During closing statements yesterday morning, Weiss argued Herrera should be convicted of a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter. The charge means he acted recklessly to cause her death.
"Based on Douglas' testimony, Douglas, based on his use of cocaine and alcohol, was incapable of intent to do these crimes," Weiss said.
Bongiorno told the jury that Nagle's condition and Herrera's actions proved he intended to rape, rob and murder her. Bongiorno said Herrera improvised his memory loss on the witness stand.
Bongiorno said if Herrera was that intoxicated, he couldn't have beaten and cut up Nagle, put his bloody clothes in a bag, chosen other clothes and jogged away.
Herrera also made lewd telephone calls from Mary Nagle's cell phone to her sisters and friends, describing how he sexually abused her.
The prosecution's case also included forensic DNA evidence showing Mary Nagle's blood was found on Herrera's underwear, a box-cutter blade and other clothing. Herrera's semen also was detected on clothing and inside Nagle's body.
"The vicious rape, genital mutilation, sadistic beating of Mary Nagle proves volumes that Herrera intended to kill her and did," Bongiorno said.
Anne Fallon, who testified about confronting Herrera outside her sister's house, said the verdict was a victory for the entire family, including her sister's 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.
"This is a victory for the whole family and Mary," Fallon said. "My niece and nephew will never have to deal with this again and never have to hear his name."
Herrera, a Guatemalan native living illegally in the United States.
****"Herrera guilty of all 15 felony charges, including seven counts of first-degree murder and single counts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse in the sexual mutilation of the 42-year-old woman"
See! Bush is right, this 'proves it'.
"Family values don't end at the Rio Grande". In this case they ended at the border of Guatemala.
(Herrera was only committing murder, rape, sodomy and sexual abuse that some lazy American refused to commit)
What am I mising here that got him charged with seven counts for killing one person? Not that I care....I think it's a travesty that he is allowed to live.
"Herrera, 30, faces a maximum term of life in prison without parole"
So he may get LESS than that? Absurd!
Its NY.He will get parole sooner or later.
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