Dec. 8, 2022 By Christian Murray
A Brooklyn man who fatally struck a 62-year-old Asian American woman over the head with a rock in North Corona last year has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is likely to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Elisaul Perez, 33, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree pertaining to the vicious attack of Guiying Ma at around 8 a.m. on Nov. 26, 2021, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office. Perez struck Ma in the head with a large rock while she was sweeping the sidewalk in front of a friend’s home on 38th Avenue—near 97th Street.
Ma was placed in a medically induced coma at Elmhurst Hospital after the attack but succumbed to her injuries on Feb. 22.
Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Yavinsky indicated that he would sentence Perez on Jan. 10 to a determinate term of 20 years in prison to be followed by five years post-release supervision.
“Her family, friends and neighbors still mourn the loss of Guiying Ma, whose life was senselessly taken last year in this brutal attack,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. “The defendant will now be held to account for an unprovoked attack that robbed a family of their loved one. The lengthy sentence to be imposed by the court is fully justified.”
According to the charges, Ma was observed sweeping the sidewalk, when Perez picked up a large rock and struck Ma in the head. After Ma fell to the ground, Perez struck her in the head with the rock a second time. The incident was caught on surveillance video.
Ma was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery for severe head trauma and brain injuries. After a three-month hospitalization, she died from complications from her injuries.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, many local leaders denounced the brutal attack as being racially motivated. For instance, Congress Member Grace Meng, Assembly Member Ed Braunstein, State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, former Councilmember Peter Koo and then Council Member-elect Sandra Ung spoke at a rally in Flushing on Dec.1 to draw attention to Asian hate. The rally was prompted by this case.
Perez, however, was not charged with a hate crime, following an investigation by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force.