Updated 04/26/2012 09:06 PM
Defendant's Mother Denies Her Son Gave A Police Officer A Fatal Push
The mother of a man accused of pushing a city police officer to his death in Brooklyn testified on his behalf Thursday, saying that another officer made the policeman fall. NY1's Criminal Justice reporter Dean Meminger filed the following report.
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With a bit of attitude in her voice, Josefa Villanueva took the stand Thursday in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, in the murder trial of her son, George Villanueva, to say he was innocent.
George Villanueva is accused of pushing Police Officer Alain Schaberger off of a Brooklyn stoop to his death last year.
Speaking Spanish, Josefa Villanueva said it was the officer's partner, Celmira Velazquez, who accidentally knocked him over the railing, saying, "The big butt one turned and moved him."
Josefa Villanueva said as officers struggled to arrest her son for attacking his girlfriend, they did not realized Schaberger fell down to the basement entrance.
"When he was falling, he didn't scream," Josefa Villanueva said.
The defendant's mother testified she was the only one to see Schaberger fall, but she did not say anything because she was worried about her son.
"I think when you take a look at her testimony, even in relationship to the testimony of the sergeant yesterday, I think you can find similarities in the events that took place on the steps," said defense attorney Kleon Andreadis.
George Villanueva's niece, Elaine Vizcarra, also took the stand, and testified officers on the scene did not realize Schaberger fell until his partner started looking down at the basement entrance.
"She turned around and took her flashlight out. She started putting her flashlight in front of these steps," said Vizcarra.
The niece said the officer started screaming, "Oh my God, oh my God!"
Vizcarra went on to say, "I looked down and I realized there was an officer."
The Brooklyn district attorney's office says Villanueva intentionally pushed the 10-year veteran.
A doctor from the medical examiner's office testified Schaberger received severe trauma to his brain.
Schaberger's parents were in the courtroom for the testimony.
"It is difficult to have to sit there and listen to autopsy reports, listen about the injuries their son sustained that day," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday. Then jurors will get the case and try to decide if Schaberger was intentionally pushed to his death.