Hunters Point resident Ronald Short was sentenced to life in prison last week for the 1999 murders of his two children in the basement of a Manhattan apartment building after he had argued with his wife, who pleaded with the judge to have mercy on him.
Short, 51, of 4-74 48th Ave., was sentenced to two life terms and two additional terms of 25-years-to-life by Justice Edwin Torres at the May 9 hearing in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, said Sherry Hunter, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney.
Short had pleaded guilty last month 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, when she apparently threatened to flee with the children to her native Poland.
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.
Detectives discovered the boys bodies Jan. 23 in the coal room of 36 West 25th St. in Manhattan, a building Short had managed.
Before the sentencing, one of the defense attorneys read a letter in which his ex-wife, Jolanta Shor, pleaded for mercy in her husbands sentencing despite the fact that he had killed their two sons.
Although she described the couples marital problems and reflected on how much she missed her murdered sons, Jolanta Short asked the judge to consider her husbands mental problems in his sentence.
Short, who has been in custody since his arrest in 1999, unexpectedly pleaded guilty to the murders last month when he was scheduled to undergo psychiatric testing. He originally intended to use a psychiatric defense.
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau had announced in October 1999 that he would seek the sentence of life without parole for Short.
Short had quit his job with Rexton Realty in Manhattan shortly before the argument 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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