D.A. Vance: East Village Explosion Defendants Sentenced to 4-to-12 Years in Prison


January 17, 2020

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of MARIA HRYNENKO, 59, ATHANASIOS “JERRY” IOANNIDIS, 63, and DILBER KUKIC, 44, for their roles in the 2015 fatal gas explosion at 121 Second Avenue, which resulted in the deaths of 23-year-old Nicholas Figueroa and 26-year-old Moises Locon, and seriously injured 13 other victims. All three defendants were sentenced to 4-to-12 years in state prison. On November 15, 2019, a New York State Supreme Court jury found the defendants guilty of all charges against them, including Manslaughter in the Second Degree.
 
“Developers and property owners across the City should keep today’s sentencing in mind as New York’s building boom continues into 2020,” said District Attorney Vance. “If you cut corners based on expediency and profit and kill or injure New Yorkers in the process, you are engaging in criminal conduct and my Office will seek significant prison time. I would like to thank the prosecutors in my Office’s Rackets Bureau for their steadfast commitment to achieving justice for the victims, whose loved ones have shown remarkable strength from the moment of this shocking crime through today’s resolution of this case. Our Office will never forget Nicholas and Moises.”

DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said: “Today’s prison sentences hold these defendants accountable for taking shortcuts, defying City regulations, and making decisions motivated by greed that ultimately cost innocent people their lives. A cornerstone of DOI’s work is its commitment to public safety, aggressively pursuing individuals who attempt to sidestep the rules and break the law for their own gain and despite the potential consequences. DOI’s investigators were proud to have stood alongside our partners at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Fire Department, Police Department and Department of Buildings from the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, through the vigorous investigation and prosecution leading to today’s outcome.”

Assistant District Attorneys Rachana Pathak and Randolph Clarke, Jr. handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Gary Galperin, Senior Investigative Counsel of the Rackets Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Judy Salwen, Principal Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Michael Ohm, Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Jodie Kane, Chief of the Rackets Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. Trial Preparation Assistants Annie Bell and Jacob Russell, Former Trial Preparation Assistant Alexandra Oviedo and Former Investigative Analyst Michael Segnan, Assistant Media Services Technician James Oliva, and Cell Site Analyst Nathan Weber provided additional assistance with the investigation.

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD, FDNY, DOI, and DOB for their assistance with the investigation.
 
 
Defendant Information:
 
MARIA HRYNENKO, D.O.B. 11/26/1959
Rockland, NY
 
Convicted:

  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 counts
  • Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
  • Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

 
Sentenced:

  • 4-to-12 years in prison

 
ATHANASIOS “JERRY” IOANNIDIS, D.O.B. 6/15/1956
Queens, NY
 
Convicted:

  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
  • Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
  • Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count
  • Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 2 counts

 
Sentenced:

  • 4-to-12 years in prison

 
DILBER KUKIC, D.O.B. 6/9/1975
Bronx, NY
 
Convicted:

  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
  • Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
  • Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

 
Sentenced:

  • 4-to-12 years in prison