Closing Arguments Continue Today In Deadly East Village Gas Explosion Trial – CBS New York
Three people are facing charges in the fiery blast that leveled a city building.
Sushi Park busboy Moises Locon and customer Nicholas Figueroa were killed on March 26, 2015. Figuero was on a date at the restaurant.
The building’s owner Maria Hrynenko, general contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Athanasios Ioannidis were all charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. They’re accused of running an illegal gas line into the building at 121 Second Avenue.
Closing arguments began in the case Tuesday. Defense attorneys showed pictures of a water heater from the basement seemingly intact to back their claim that the explosion happened in the kitchen of the sushi restaurant on the first floor, not the basement like prosecutors allege.
However, prosecutors argue the owner – who managed several buildings – had newly renovated apartments to lease but no gas service to them. Not wanting to miss out on rent, prosecutors say she leased them anyway, and the trio illegally tapped into one gas line to service tenants in another building.
The owner’s attorney said his client simply hired people to do work and knew nothing about an illegal gas line.
Figueroa’s father told reporters he hopes justice is served.
“I hope that the jurors will decide these people’s fate in the right way, that they all go to jail for what they did,” he said Tuesday.
Hrynenko, Kukic and Ioannidis each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of top counts.