NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York appeals court on Friday overturned the conviction of a woman found guilty in the gruesome murder of an elderly Bronx grandmother.
The court ruled Sparkle Daniel was not properly informed of her rights during questioning, after she was arrested in the 2003 suffocation death of Nellie Hocutt, 91. It was part of a gruesome robbery and attack at the elderly woman’s Laconia Avenue home in Williamsbridge.
The victim was then forced to guzzle wine and rubbing alcohol, and then was strangled and suffocated with a grocery bag. Both Daniel and co-defendant Nadine Panton got away with $120 and a half dozen bath towels.
Daniel and Panton were arrested in 2007.
After Daniel was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in 2010, Hocutt’s grandson, Kieron Whitfield, said of the defendant: “She’s like a disease. She’s like a disease in the form of a human being.”
The Bronx District Attorney’s office will soon decide whether to appeal the overturning of the conviction, or retry Daniel.
Co-defendant Panton was questioned and tried separately, and her conviction has been upheld, according to a New York Daily News report.
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