By Carol Tannenhauser
Update: On Tuesday, January 24 at around 11 p.m., police arrested Terrence Moore, 53, of Brooklyn, and charged him with murder and two counts of burglary, in connection with the death of Maria Hernandez, a crime that has shocked and saddened the Upper West Side community.
Ms. Hernandez, 74, was found dead in her W. 83rd Street apartment on Wednesday, January 18. Leshawn Mackey, 47, of Brooklyn has been charged with the crime.
“A second individual was seen entering the building with Mackey,” a police spokesperson told WSR. “We can’t speculate about whether that means there was a witness or a surveillance camera,” she added. Apparently, a surveillance photo (right) was taken later of Moore.
Mackey was picked up on Saturday, January 21 and charged with murder, attempted murder, and two counts of burglary. “The motive was robbery,” a police spokesperson told the Rag at the time.
Ms. Hernandez was found by her sister, with her hands and feet tied, lying face down in her bedroom, the New York Post reported. “The residence had been ransacked.” The Medical Examiner told WSR the cause of death was “homicidal asphyxia, including compression of the neck.”
Earlier, police said there were no signs of trauma other than Ms. Hernandez’s bound hands and feet, but the Post reported “she was found with fractures and bruising on her body.”
Scant details are available about Mackey’s arrest, other than “a search warrant was executed at his residence,” the police spokesperson added. “I don’t know how, but they got him. That was a quick turnaround!”
Another call to DCPI (the NYPD press office) on Sunday, January 22 yielded further information about Lashawn Mackey. “Mackey was arrested in 1999 for attempted murder and was off the grid [possibly in prison] until around 2021,” the spokesperson said. “He was arrested again in August, 2022, for burglary. That was around the same time that he worked for a couple of months at Ms. Hernandez’s building last summer, as part of a post-incarceration work-release program. So, he had previous knowledge of the building.”