Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that James Fitzgerald, 55, has been sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder for the May 16, 2020, vicious beating of his estranged girlfriend. The victim was attacked by the defendant on the sidewalk in front of a fish market in Jamaica, Queens. The defendant kicked and punched the victim multiple times in the head before picking up a wooden beam embedded with nails to continue the assault.

District Attorney Katz said, “This defendant brutally attacked his former girlfriend nearly to death. It is a miracle that the victim survived, though she still faces years of physical and mental recovery due to severe sustained injuries. Following the defendant’s guilty plea last month, he has now been sentenced to prison for his heinous actions. I can only hope that the victim finds some solace in knowing that the defendant has been held accountable.”

Fitzgerald, of Walton Avenue in the Bronx, pleaded guilty on June 2, 2022 to attempted murder in the second degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino, who imposed today’s sentence of 19 years in prison to be followed by five years post release supervision. A full order of protection is also issued on behalf of the victim.

According to Court records, just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020, the defendant approached his 35-year-old estranged girlfriend and physically abused her in front of a fish market on 150th Street in Jamaica, Queens. The victim was knocked to the ground and relentlessly attacked by the defendant with his fists and feet. The defendant ignored nearby eyewitnesses yelling for him to stop. He briefly walked away from the victim, only to return a moment later with a wooden plank studded with metal nails. Defendant Fitzgerald then repeatedly struck the victim in the face with the blunt object.

DA Katz said police arrived on the scene just as the defendant was walking away from the nearly dead woman. When officers ordered Fitzgerald to halt, he ran but was apprehended following a short foot pursuit.

Continuing, DA Katz said police recovered the bloody wooden plank with several nails protruding from it from the scene of the attack as well as the victim’s broken teeth that were scattered on the sidewalk.

The victim, who was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, suffered permanent loss of vision in her right eye. She has undergone several reconstruction surgeries as her face has been permanently disfigured due to a crushed orbital bone and several additional severe facial fractures.

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Rella, of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal and Major Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Shawn Clark, Bureau Chief, Michael Whitney, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel Saunders.