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A New York woman rolled her eyes and insisted she wasn’t guilty as she was charged Tuesday with pushing a billionaire’s former Filipino housemaid onto the subway tracks under Times Square, killing her.
Prosecutors said Melanie Liverpool had confessed to killing 49-year-old Connie Watton, of Queens, but she rebuffed the claim at her arraignment on a murder charge.
“What? I didn’t admit to nothing,” Liverpool said before the judge reminded her she had a lawyer to speak for her.
Liverpool, 30, was ordered held without bail in a death that strikes at New York subway riders’ fears, though fatal pushes are rare.
She appeared unruffled by the charges during Tuesday’s brief proceeding. Authorities have described her as emotionally disturbed, but her lawyer, Mathew Mari, said she had declined to give him any details on her medical history.
“She’s adamant that she did not confess and that she’s not guilty” and didn’t want to discuss anything else, Mari said.
Authorities said Liverpool and Watton were talking or arguing on a platform at the bustling Times Square station before Liverpool pushed Watton in front of an approaching train. She was found dead under it, and Liverpool was apprehended within minutes.
“This is a strong case, with multiple eyewitnesses” and an admission from Liverpool, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Matthew Thiman said.
Police said they were looking at video surveillance to try to determine what led to the attack.
Liverpool, who lives in Queens, worked as a health aide until about three weeks ago, Mari said. He didn’t know how her job had ended.
Watton worked for decades as a housekeeper for billionaire investment banking firm Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman, his daughter told the New York Post.
“My whole family is really sad and shocked,” said Zibby Schwarzman. “It’s horrifying.”
Watton, who was from the Philippines, “was part of every holiday”, the daughter added. “She was just a part of every piece of life since I was nine years old.”