A year after over a railing to his death, a career criminal was sentenced Wednesday to serve 28 and half years to life—even though he declared to the court "I'm not a killer. I never was."
George Villanueva—a career criminal who had 30 previous arrests and a history of domestic abuse—was sentenced on Wednesday by Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Neil Firetog to the maximum of 28 and a half years to life behind bars for aggravated manslaughter and aggravated criminal contempt for violating an order of protection.
"My big brother, my only sibling was killed," said the fallen officer's sister Tracey Wagner, holding back tears. "That's my reality. In the 14 months that have passed, the pain and sorrow hasn't lessened. I've just learned to cope with it better."
The victim's father also spoke, imploring the court to the enforce the maximum sentence.
"His vicious nature makes him totally unfit to be a part of this society. I believe that God's domain is mercy," said Paul Schaberger, 64, who struggled to speak at various points during his statement. "The domain of this court is justice. Alain's nieces will never know him. I implore you to exercise justice, the full measure of justice."
Prosecutor Mark Hale echoed those sentiments with his closing statements regarding the defendant's history in and out of jail.
"His life is a pattern of criminalty going from time to time to time," said Hale. "He has no job, no skills, no vocation...After a certain point we have to say that we cannot rehabilitate this person. There is nothing more that we can do for you than to keep you away from us."
Before Judge Firetog offered his sentence, Villanueva used his opportunity to speak to express his "deepest condolences" to the family who he kept looking over his shoulder at.
"The fact of the matter is I didn't push your son, alright," he said. "I gained nothing by doing that. I'm not some idiot. Do the math."
"I'm not gonna turn a simple domestic thing with my girlfriend into a murder case," he continued. "If I had known that guy was gonna fall over [the railing], I would have grabbed him. I'm not a killer. I never was."
A jury acquitted Villanueva, 42, of murder on May 2, of the manslaughter charge for his involvement in the death of Police Officer Alain Schaberger. Villanueva also was convicted of aggravated criminal contempt for violating an order of protection his girlfriend had filed against him.
After responding to a domestic violence call, the officer from the 84th Precinct struggled with Villanueva in a cement stairwell where he was .
Senator Daniel Squadron with the support of Senator Martin Golden and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal that would create a felony charge of "aggravated domestic violence" for abusers who commit at least two offenses within a five year period. Villanueva had a 12-year history of repeated offenses. But they were all considered misdemeanors.
In addition to his parents May and Paul Schaberger, Officer Alain Schaberger is survived fiancée Shoshone Peguese, and her son Ratu.