Saturday, January 18, 2020

Convicted gas explosion landlord Maria Hrynenko out on bail; contractor, plumber remain behind bars


[Photo from March 26, 2015 via @mesh_mellow]

After yesterday's sentencing of the three people a jury found responsible for the deadly March 2015 Second Avenue gas explosion, the defendants were handcuffed and taken into custody.

However, per published reports, their lawyers said they planned to appeal and were trying to get their clients out on bail.

According to public records, landlord Maria Hrynenko made bail yesterday as she awaits an appeal of the case ...



The other two who were sentenced, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis, remain at the Manhattan Detention Center...





Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus handed down prison sentences of between four and 12 years each — depending on their behavior behind bars — in state prison. The defendants faced a maximum of 5 to 15 years each.

“What the defendants did, in a matter of speaking, was roll the dice with the lives of many people,” Obus told the courtroom. “The results, as we know, are catastrophic.”

However, Obus said that he was giving the defendants a break on their prison time because they were older and “did not intend to blow up the building,” as the Post reported.

“It’s not enough. It’s a joke,” Nixon Figeuroa, whose son Nicholas died in the explosion along with Moises Locon, told reporters. “What kind of justice did you give us? You didn’t give us no justice. It’s a slap in my son’s face.”

Kukic was the only defendant to speak to the court yesterday, according to CBS 2.

“He said that he would gladly give up his own life for the lives of the people who lost their lives,” Kukic’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo said.

Here is a breakdown of the convictions via the DA's office:

MARIA HRYNENKO, D.O.B. 11/26/1959
Rockland, N.Y.

Convicted:

Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 counts
Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

4-to-12 years in prison

ATHANASIOS “JERRY” IOANNIDIS, D.O.B. 6/15/1956
Queens

Convicted:

Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count
Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 2 counts

Sentenced:

4-to-12 years in prison

DILBER KUKIC, D.O.B. 6/9/1975
Bronx

Convicted:

Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

4-to-12 years in prison

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am the nutty one but I am very skeptical that the landlord's son actually perished.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely horrifying that Maria is out on bail. And what a light sentence. It does nothing to deter other landlords who tamper with gas lines.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely obscene miscarriage of justice. Real estate lobby must of thrown all their influence and political donations behind this verdict.

Anonymous said...

10:44 YES you are very nutty. He crashed into a tree upstate.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is a consequence of new bail reforms just passed. Whatever it is....you know it's money honey. She sold that land for $9 million and I don't think it went into escrow to pay all the civil lawsuits.
I saw there was a motion on Jan 10 to have the case dismissed and that was denied. Just awful and the relatives of the deceased boys are going to really be upset. My heart goes out to them.

Anonymous said...

Money talks, Hrynenko walks. I wonder if she had to surrender her passport(s) to anyone? And does anyone know where her ill-gotten gains from selling the scorched-earth death-scene property have gone?

Saying that they get less of a sentence because they're older - does that mean anyone 75+ can go out and start robbing places, b/c they're EVEN OLDER and thus won't be held to account?

This is criminal justice, indeed: justice so skewed that it ought to be considered criminal.

I wish the DA would bring a class-action lawsuit against all these convicts for damaging this neighborhood, for traumatizing thousands of people, and for (basically) the convicts not giving a shit about anything but $$.



XTC said...

They got off light because that is the law regarding 2nd degree manslaughter. In other words there was no way they could know their actions would definitely lead to someone's death. Thus no intent to kill. They probably played around with gas lines and such before and to them it wasn't a big deal. I've worked in high end buildings on 5th Ave where the well off client didn't want to use a licensed electrician to save a few bucks. Happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

Those three are all pieces of shit. It just goes to show you. Having money is having power which seems to get one out of any situation. Look at the guy in the white house. He can get away with anything without consequences. This is a shameful disgrace to the families of the victims.

sophocles said...

4-12 years is not inconsequential. Often greed goes unpunished. The CEO of Boeing is leaving with $60 mil. Boeing's greed was nicely varnished by comparison.
Whether Hrynenko et al were punished enough I cannot say.

Anonymous said...

Sad incident, for everyone involved back then.

Giovanni said...

Maria Hyrnenko obviously got a fair deal — that is, she got the kind of sweetheart deal that people get when their skin is fair and their money is green. Now she can fly away to Poland for a little newly-minted convicted felon vacation and laugh at how easy it was to obtain her “Get Out Of Jail” card while her appeal grinds on for years. According to the inmate details sidebar on her MDC page, she’s 5 foot 4 and 220 pounds, so don't be surprised when a few major “health issues” arise during the appeal process just like is has for Harvey Weinstein on his fake-looking walker with the green tennis balls.

As for the prodigal son Michael, who dies at 31 (that’s 13 backwards for you numerology fans), his DUI arrest happened in February of 2017, 7 months before his mysterious death. When he passed away suddenly later on that year, the funeral home pulled down his obituary page, and no public announcement was ever made about the cause of death.

Anyone who read his social media postings knows he was probably the kind of brotastic dude who would think faking his own death would be hilarious, if not something he was absolutely entitled to do by his birthright as the scion of a vast East Village Polish real estate empire. Since he was in his early 30s, I wonder if the same judge would have given him as light a sentence as the others, or perhaps he would have had to find another bad reason to given them all a break.

As to those still wondering of the sentences were too light: It was the judge himself who said that he had decided to give lighter sentences to the three remaining defendants in part due to their advanced ages, so there is no disputing that they should have been given more time given that none of them is even a senior citizen.

As far as intent to kill goes, that’s a pretty high bar to prove in court, but common sense tells anyone with half a brain and a working conscience that what they did by diverting gas was dangerous beyond all reason. It’s why they went to such lengths to cover it up. It’s why her son Michael ran as fast as he could out of his own building immediately after discovering that their illegal gas diversion scheme had backfired and was about to literally blow up in their faces. And everyone knows that diverting gas is dangerous precisely because it can easily explode and kill you.

Screw intent. Everyone knows that messing with a gas line is like playing Russian Roulette; it’s just a matter of time before your luck runs out.

Unfortunately, our legal system has less to do with common sense, and these days it resembles a one legged race between a bunch of blindfolded paraplegics: slow and steady wins the race.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with the bail reform, which is for pre trials.

Anonymous said...

"there was no way they could know their actions would definitely lead to someone's death." - So who skipped chemistry classes in high school, the DA? The judge?

Anonymous said...

10:44AM yes seems very suspect

sophocles said...

I believe everyone's actions here went beyond poor judgment into another realm. That being said, the son dashed out of the restaurant to where the gas lines were, which is different than running to safety. I think that is a simple fact we should acknowledge.

Brian said...

The punishment does not fit the crime. That often happens with abusive landlords. Croman hardly got a slap on the wrist for his bad acts. I feel bad for all the victims, the families of the 2 that died, but also all the people who had to leave the neighborhood because they had rent stabilized homes and could not find anything comparable.