UPPER WEST SIDE — A former worker at a Salvation Army senior home has been sentenced to life in prison for the brutal beating and choking death of a 95-year-old WWII vet inside his apartment, the New York Post reported.
Wilfred Matthews, 44, who was a janitor at the Williams Memorial Residence at West 95th Street and West End Avenue, broke into Peter Lisi's apartment last February in search of cash to fuel his crack addiction, and attacked Lisi when he surprised him mid-robbery, according to police and prosecutors.
An autopsy showed that Matthews broke Lisi's ribs first before strangling him with a phone cord, prosecutors said, according to the Post. His neck was covered in scratches and authorities believe he desperately tried to free himself from the cord in his last moments, the paper reported.
Matthews was later spotted with Lisi's blood on his jacket and was caught using the dead man's MetroCard, authorities said.
"It is the opinion of this court that you will be for the rest of your life a danger to society," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro told Matthews at his sentencing Monday morning, according to the Post.
Matthews was sentenced to life without parole, they reported.
"No World War II veteran should die in a beaten and bloody heap on the floor of his own home," Assistant district attorney Matthew Bogdanos said at sentencing, according to the Post.
Matthews claimed he was innocent, and said the real killer was still out there, the Post reported.