A 51-year-old man pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court today in the brutal beating death of Yao Pan Ma as he collected cans in New York City.
CNN reports Jarrod Powell will be sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Powell attacked Ma from behind on April 23, 2021, on a street corner in Harlem. The 61-year old Ma suffered brain injuries as Powell kicked him several times in the head.
He died eight months later on New Year’s Eve while laying in the hospital in a vegetative state.
CBS News reports Powell admitted attacking Ma because he is Asian.
“This unprovoked attack took the life of Yao Pan Ma and took away a sense of security for so many in the AAPI community in New York,” District Attorney Alvin Bragg said, reported CNN. “Jarrod Powell attacked Mr. Ma because of his race and is now being held accountable. My thoughts are with Mr. Ma’s family and friends as they continue to mourn this loss.”
According to a Go Fund Me, Ma immigrated to New York City in 2019 and moved to Harlem after his Chinatown apartment burned down. He was collecting cans to help make ends meet for his family.
His wife of 31 years, Baozhen Chen, helped to cook and wash dishes at a restaurant but loss his job during the pandemic.
“When I saw him in the hospital … his face, I cried. I still cry,” said Chen, who called out her husband’s name during her Saturday morning visit, “asking if he could hear me.”
“He didn’t give me a response.”
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