Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said Friday that Wilmer Cueva, foreman for Sky Materials Corporation, will face up to 4 years in prison at his December sentencing for his part in the death of Carlos Moncayo who was buried alive at a Manhattan construction site in April 2015.
Cueva, 51, of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, was charged with sending Moncayo and three other workers into the unsupported trench. Prosecutors said Cueva was repeatedly warned about the hazards of the unshored trench the same morning as the accident. Testimony indicated he told laborers to work fast because of the cave-in risk. He was acquitted of manslaughter but convicted of criminally negligent homicide.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said the conviction, the second in four cases stemming from the death, would advance his office’s effort to use aggressive prosecutions to stem construction accidents and fatalities. “When construction supervisors take shortcuts, they take chances with their workers’ lives,” he said in a statement.
Earlier this fall, general contractor Harco Construction LLC of New York was convicted of manslaughter. Charges are still pending against Sky Material's Michael Cholowsky, 52, of Manhasset. Cholowsky was found guilty of conspiracy for an unrelated case involving the Brookhaven landfill corruption scandal in 1999.