A Hunters Point man pleaded guilty Monday to murdering his two young sons in a Manhattan basement in 1999 following a dispute with his wife.
Ronald Short, 51, of 4-74 48th Ave., pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the first degree and two counts of intentional murder in the second degree in the deaths of his sons Richard, 7, and John, 3.
Short murdered his sons following an argument with his wife Jan. 9 in their co-op at the City Lights building in Hunters Point. Detectives discovered the boys bodies Jan. 23 in the coal room of 36 West 25th St. in Manhattan, a building Short had managed.
Sources in the Manhattan district attorneys office said Short, who has been in custody since his arrest in 1999, had been scheduled to come in for psychiatric testing when he declared his intention to plead guilty to the murders. He originally intended to use a psychiatric defense..
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced in October 1999 that he would seek a sentence of life without parole for Short.
Short was scheduled to appear before Criminal Court Judge Robert Torres for sentencing May 9.
Jolanta Short reported her sons missing after she and her husband fought Jan. 9, 1999. Short was located and arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child on Jan. 15, and was released on $10,000 bail Jan. 19. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in court on Jan. 21, and he was arrested Jan. 22 and held on $10 million bail for the child endangerment charges.
His childrens bodies were discovered the following day.
Richard was killed by multiple chop wounds to the head and neck, while John died as a result of blunt impacts to the head, the DA said.
Short had quit his job with Rexton Realty in Manhattan shortly before the altercation with his wife.
The Short family moved into the City Lights building in 1998, when it was first becoming a co-op.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2001 Community News Group
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