NEW YORK – The man convicted of murdering paramedic Yadira Arroyo in the Bronx when he tried to steal the ambulance she was driving in 2017 and crashed it was sentenced to life without parole on Tuesday .

José González was convicted of first-degree murder on March 8 for killing Arroyo, who had worked for the New York Fire Department for 14 years. The tragedy occurred on March 16, 2017, when González Arroyo and his colleague noticed González was in the back of his ambulance, police said.

At that point, they got out to investigate, and González jumped into the driver’s seat, put the vehicle into reverse, and ran over Arroyo. He then walked over and dragged the 44-year-old woman to an intersection in White Plains Road there Watson Ave.

The mother-of-five, who worked at EMS Station No. 26 in the Bronx, was pronounced dead a short time later. Arroyo, affectionately known as Yadi, was a single mother when she decided to become a paramedic inspired by her own mother, according to her brother Joel Rosado, also a paramedic.

A passing MTA police officer witnessed the crash and immediately arrested and subdued the suspect with the help of bystanders, authorities said.

Gonzalez had 31 prior arrests and four prior misdemeanors on his record, authorities said. He faced a series of charges including first degree murder, manslaughter and robbery.

The trial had been repeatedly delayed after Gonzalez’s attorney had previously said his client suffered from serious mental illness. In September, González was deemed fit to stand trial by medical professionals. Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said at the time that Gonzalez was evaluated at the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center and it was determined he was no longer considered “an incapable person.”

” Overwhelmed. I was overcome with a lot of emotions,” Arroyo’s aunt Ali Acevedo-Hernandez said after the guilty verdict. “We waited six years with ups and downs, anger, despair, excitement, agony. We finally succeeded.”

Gonzalez’s defense attorneys did not deny that their client killed Arroyo, but said he should not have been convicted of murder because he was under the influence of PCP at the time.

Jurors deliberated for six hours after weeks of presenting evidence and testifying in court. Arroyo’s family was in court during arraignment when the jury sent six notes to the judge asking him to release on his cell phone and surveillance video of the fatal incident.

Jurors also wanted to hear testimony provided by Gonzalez hours after his arrest, as well as testimony from Monique Williams, Arroyo’s partner. They asked the judge for the legal definition of fraud.

“She was a first responder, but more importantly, she was a hero. There, doing her job in public service, and losing her life that way means so much that today, almost six years later we finally get justice.” for her,” Clark said.

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