A former maintenance worker for an Upper West Side apartment building and his pal were indicted Tuesday for the “brutal and callous” murder and sexual assault of a beloved great-grandmother.
Lashawn Mackey and Terrence Moore strangled and sexually abused 74-year-old Maria Hernandez on Jan. 18 in her apartment on W. 83rd St. near Columbus Ave, prosecutors charged at a state Supreme Court arraignment.
Mackey, who had worked at the property, tried to cover up the gruesome killing by breaking into the basement maintenance office and cutting the wires to the building’s CCTV system before lying in wait inside Hernandez’s home, authorities said.
Mackey and Moore left the great-grandma to die after gagging her and tying her arms and legs up with rope, according to the indictment.
Both men pleaded not guilty to murder, sexual abuse, burglary and other related charges.
“This was a brutal and callous murder that no family should ever have to experience. My thoughts are with Ms. Hernandez’s loved ones as they continue to grieve and recover from their loss,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement. “I thank the prosecutors in my office for quickly building this case and continuing to steadfastly uncover every piece of evidence.”
Mackey, 47, who worked as the super in Hernandez’s building between May and August last year, was arrested three days after the killing. Moore, 53, was handcuffed on Jan. 25 after authorities combed surveillance footage to track his route from the crime scene to a Brooklyn homeless shelter in Crown Heights, police said.
“I’m innocent. I’m innocent. Tell them to prove themselves,” Moore told reporters after his arrest. “Look for the DNA results at the scene of the crime. Ask them for it.”
The city medical examiner determined that Hernandez died of homicidal asphyxia and suffered sexual assault injuries during her killing.
Hernandez had three daughters, eight grandkids, and a 1-year-old great-grandchild, her relatives told the Daily News.
Just hours before the killing, the Dominican immigrant had attended a Broadway matinee with her sister, who would discover her battered body after she couldn’t reach her on the phone.
Police sources previously said Mackey worked as a part-time porter in Hernandez’s building and that Moore helped him break in.
Lawyers for Mackey and Moore did not respond to the Daily News’ inquiries.