Prosecutors said they would seek the maximum of 25 years in jail for disbarred attorney Joel Steinberg, found guilty of manslaughter Monday in the killing of his illegally adopted 6-year-old daughter Lisa.
The jury of six men and six women found Steinberg, 47, guilty of first degree manslaughter after deliberating for eight days following a three-month-long trial. He was acquitted of the more serious charge of second- degree murder.First-degree manslaughter carries a sentence of 81/3 years to 25 years in jail and means the jury found that Steinberg intended to cause serious injury to Lisa.
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau told a news conference after the verdict his office would seek the maximum penalty.
"By his conduct, Joel Steinberg has shown himself to fully deserve that sentence," said Morgenthau. Acting Judge Harold Rothwax set sentencing for March 8.
Officials say that about every three days a child dies in New York City from abuse or neglect by a parent or guardian.
But the Steinberg case touched a nerve with its testimony of a depraved, drug-addicted man who beat his lover, Hedda Nussbaum, into slave-like submission and then took his wrath out on a defenseless child. It triggered a national debate on child abuse.
Steinberg showed no outward emotion as jury foreman Jeremiah Cole read the verdict.
"It is not a win for Joel or a triumph for Joel," defense attorney Ira London said.