Skip to main content

Judge Chews Out ‘Depraved and Despicable’ Manslaughter Defendant in Court Cam’s 100th Episode


On the upcoming 100th episode of Court Cam, viewers can expect to see a New York judge sternly smacking down a manslaughter defendant’s apology as “crocodile tears.”

Court Cam, hosted by Dan Abrams, will feature the case of Jeffrey McDonald and others on Wednesday, March 30 on A&E at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT. It follows an initial episode to air 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

“Your lack of compassion is palpable,” Judge Mario F. Mattei told McDonald in a 2017 sentencing hearing for killing Alyssa Johnson. “You don’t have an ounce of decency in your body. There are no words that can describe how depraved and despicable your actions are.”

The judge pointed out that the defendant took a picture of the victim’s body.

McDonald beat Johnson unconscious during an argument at their Staten Island apartment. He left and called 911, but the woman died at the hospital from blunt force trauma to her head and neck. McDonald pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in exchange for prosecutors dropping a count of first-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison.

“Lizzy was the daughter every parent wishes for,” Johnson’s mother said in an impact statement at McDonald’s sentencing. “Hardworking, humble, loyal, courageous, funny, loving, kind, beautiful and intelligent. She was the definition of perfection. She was not only my daughter, she was my best friend. While you get to speak to your mother and to your family, my daughter is not coming back.”

McDonald delivered an apparently emotional apology.

“I’m sorry for the pain I caused you,” he said. “Sorry. Liz was the love of my life.”

This apology got him no leniency from the judge. If anything, it aggravated Mattei.

“I didn’t see an ounce of sorrow in that statement you made,” he said. “You battered a defenseless woman who weighed 107 pounds. You raised your hands to a woman. That makes you pretty low. In my book, that makes you a coward.”

Mattei said that before leaving the apartment, McDonald propped Johnson against the bed and took her picture.

“It is one of the most disturbing pictures I have ever been unfortunate enough to see,” the judge said. “It’s upsetting to think that you would take a picture of someone in that condition. And she looks as though she’s already passed.”

[Image via A&E]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: