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Accused Queens Subway Pusher Found Fit for Trial

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | January 14, 2013 11:23am

QUEENS — The woman accused of killing a man by pushing him into the path of an oncoming subway train in Sunnyside because she believed he was Muslim, was found fit to stand trial after her psychiatric evaluation, Queens Criminal Court Judge Dorothy Chin Brandt ruled Monday morning.

Erika Menendez, 31, who allegedly confessed to shoving Sunando Sen, 46, to his death at the 40th Street station in Queens on Dec. 27, had previously been charged with murder in the second degree as a hate crime.

Earlier this month, she was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after she repeatedly laughed during her arraignment at Queens Criminal Court, prosecutors from the Queens District Attorney's office said.

Her attorney, Steven Raiser, said that Menendez was still in a hospital on Monday.

Her arraignment on the indictment was set for Jan. 29.

“The judge indicated that she was found fit to proceed, however, we have not received the report yet,” said Raiser, who was hired by Menendez’s family.

Menendez also has an outstanding warrant on reckless driving issued last February. The charges on the cases will likely be consolidated.