Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that a 26-year-old Queens resident has been sentenced to 6 months in jail for punching a Gaelic football player, who fell to the pavement hitting his head and died from blunt force trauma. The defendant sucker-punched the victim in the early morning hours outside of a bar in Sunnyside, Queens, on November 22, 2018.

Queens District Attorney Katz said, “This was a senseless confrontation outside a bar that ended tragically. The victim’s death falls into a category of cases that has become known as a ‘one punch homicide’ – where a single blow results in death and the only intent that can be proved is to cause physical injury. Under the cases governing our prosecutions in these circumstances the highest charge the facts would support was assault in the third degree.”

Continuing, said DA Katz, “The family of the victim were told of the limitations of this case and understood and were supportive of this outcome. We, of course, would like to convey our heartfelt sympathies to the family of the victim.”

The District Attorney’s Office identified the defendant as Steven O’Brien, of 42nd Street in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens. The defendant pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor last November before Queens Criminal Court Judge Mary Bejarano, who yesterday imposed a determinate sentence of 6 months in jail.

According to the charges, said DA Katz, on November 22, 2018, shortly after 3:25 a.m., the defendant and the victim, Daniel “ Danny” McGee, were outside of a bar on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside. O’Brien and the 21-year-old victim became engaged in a dispute and the defendant suddenly punched McGee once on the side of his face. The victim – a well-known Gaelic football player in his native Ireland – fell to the ground striking his head. The young man was taken to a hospital and died as a result of blunt force trauma.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin B. Ramnarain, in the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Bureau Chief, Shawn Clark and Michael Whitney, Deputy Bureau Chiefs., and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.