By Jano Tantongco
A Suffolk jury has convicted a 21-year-old Dix Hills man of manslaughter in the second degree and assault in the first degree for attacks he made on his brother and mother in 2014, authorities said.
Charles Okonkwo Jr. faces up to 15 years imprisonment on the manslaughter conviction, and up to 25 years on the assault conviction, when he is sentenced on Sept. 16. Okonkwo was also acquitted of a second-degree murder charge.
Jurors deliberated for around four hours over two days before returning the verdict Friday afternoon. The trial started on Aug. 1 before State Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen.
Suffolk police arrived at the Okonkwo home on Norman Court on July 19, 2014 after Charles Okonkwo Sr. discovered the aftermath of the attacks.
On Monday, Charles Okonkwo Sr., 64, recounted the day in an interview at his home.
He said he arrived home after a stay at the hospital to find younger son Bradley, 15, dead in his own bed, and wife Chinwe, 54, lying in a pool of her own blood in the garage.
Police later arrested and charged Charles Okonkwo Jr., who was found driving the family car “a short distance” from the house.
“I think every day of the day that shattered my life,” Charles Okonkwo Sr. said.
He said that his wife was beaten into a coma. She is still recovering from the injuries, he said.
The father said he plans to move from the home soon.
“I don’t want to live here anymore,” he said. “It brings back memories. And, that will help her to heal, too.”
He said his family was once like a “case study” for a happy family.
“I’m the only one standing at 64. You lose your kids, you lost your wife. It’s like you lost everything,” he said. “Forty-five years I’ve been in America, everything is gone.”
The father said Charles Okonkwo Jr. was diagnosed with schizophrenia prior to the trial, but was later declared fit for trial by a psychologist and medical doctor at Riverhead Correctional Facility, which is where Charles Okonkwo Jr. stayed before the trial.