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Updated: Sunnyside Man who Fatally Punched Fellow Irishman Outside Queens Blvd. Pub Pleads Guilty

Nov. 21, 2019 By Christian Murray (updated Nov. 22)

A 26-year-old Sunnyside resident who fatally punched a fellow Irish immigrant outside the Gaslight Bar on Queens Boulevard last year pleaded guilty to assault today and will be sentenced to six months in jail.

Steven O’Brien, who lives on 42nd Street, pleaded guilty to assault in the 3rd degree, after killing 21 year-old-old John “Danny” McGee with a single punch to the head outside the 43-17 Queens Blvd. bar, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

O’Brien, who is from Dublin, and McGee, from Longford, got into an argument outside the pub at around 3:45 a.m. Nov. 22, authorities said.

O’Brien, a bartender, then punched McGee in the head and fled the scene. McGee, meanwhile, fell to the pavement in a heap. He was later pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital.

O’Brien turned himself into police later on that day.

McGee had been working in New York for the past 18 months, according to Irish media reports. He was an American citizen who frequently came to New York.

Gaslight at 43-17 Queens Boulevard (Google)

McGee was from a high-profile family in the village of Drumlish, a rural area with about 400 people. He was a talented Gaelic football and soccer player.

O’Brien is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8 and is expected to serve six months in jail, most likely at Rikers Island, according to the DA’s office.

The DA’s office, however, said that the sentence was inadequate and that it was constrained by current state law.

“The facts surrounding the tragic death of Danny McGee fall into a category of cases that has become known as ‘one punch homicides’ – where one punch causes a death and the only intent that can be proved is to cause physical injury.

“Under the cases governing our prosecutions in these circumstances we can only charge third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. We believe that is an inadequate response by society to a death. We call upon the Legislature to pass a law making an intentional assault that results in death a felony.”

John Danny McGee

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

Joe- Stop trying to put words in people’s mouth. Nobody said to let him off with nothing. Nothing like that at all was said. You’re not even close.?


Bar fights happen often. I truly don’t believe he meant to kill anyone. It was a tragic accident not a felony. I’m sure his punishment will be living with this all his life

Frances Michaels

To rgs sunnyside ..!! You decide to drink and wind up killing someone and you blame it on the alcohol ?? Try telling that to a judge !? I’m sure you wont feel the same if a family member of yours is the victim !

Alex K

The Mango Mussolini crime lord incites his zombie followers to commit violent actions against anyone who disagrees with his insanity. This includes Democrats, the media, etc. Scary & pathetic. Send him to Rikers where he belongs for life.


Not about race – about a really badly written law – so bad, that the perpetrator, not having been convicted of a felony, could still apply for many jobs where they do a detailed background check. He could check off the “misdemeanor box”.


“under current law . . . this is a misdemeanor” and it will only get worse with the crew in Albany and the current district attorney of Queens. They are not interested in protecting the public. If they had wanted to cure social problems, they should have become social workers.


Mutual combat, he should get nothing. I feel bad that a man died but this was a one and done fight. Spare me the racial BS. If this involved two black guys it would be time served, and called an accident.

rgs sunnyside

many will say he got off light and he did but no sense in destroying another life! alcohol can make people do some s!

Larry B.

My sad impression is that ‘anger management’ issues are the number one ‘mental health’ problem afflicting a majority of residents of the US these days.


I guess he’s not from a housing project so no need to comment on killing a man. Looks like he’s being celebrated. Let’s all put some money in his jail account. Misdemeanor for manslaughter, hope it’s never your friend or family member.


Not enough time. And under the new “criminal reform bill” which Governor Cuomo and Bill DeBlasio thinks is wonderful, he would probably do no time although there is a dead body. I hope people will enjoy their “criminal reform”. It is doing wonders for San Francisco where the moving vans are pulling up. Waiting for someone to blame Trump.


6 months for killing someone. If he were black he’d get life in solitary with no chance of parole.

Another white guy

Six months, damn. How many people have gotten more for selling, growing or simply having marijuana on them in the past decades? How many black and brown people have been put away for far longer for less? This is mad messed up.


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