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Jun 16, 2023
During the Prior District Attorney’s Administration, Darren Mansfield Had Been Released Without Bail for Strangulation of Initial Victim, When he Strangled and Killed Frania Espinal in April 2021 (SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced that Darren Mansfield, 23, of Bay Shore, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the fatal strangulation of Frania Espinal in April 2021, the strangulation of another female victim in November 2020, and criminal possession of a weapon. “What is deplorable about this case is that this defendant was released without bail when he killed Ms. Espinal, despite an arrest for strangling and nearly killing another woman who had the courage to report him to authorities after she escaped,” said District Attorney Tierney. “While I am District Attorney, we will not allow dangerous defendants to remain at liberty where they can harm the public. How dangerous does an individual have to be before they are held in on bail? This defendant deserves every year of his prison sentence.” Based upon the investigation and admissions at the guilty plea proceeding, on November 2, 2020, Mansfield was arrested for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree when Suffolk County Police Officers found him in possession of a loaded handgun and ammunition belonging to his mother. 2 At his arraignment on November 3, 2020, Mansfield was ordered held on $20,000 cash bail or a $40,000 bail bond. On November 4, 2020, Mansfield posted $20,000 cash bail and was released. Thereafter, on November 22, 2020, Mansfield went out on a date with the initial victim. While sitting in a car with her, he put her in a headlock and applied such force to her neck that he caused broken blood vessels in both her eyes and mouth, and severe swelling and bruising to her eyes, all of which are hallmark injuries caused by acts of violent strangulation. This victim survived the attack and Mansfield was arrested the following day, on November 23, 2020. Despite the fact that Mansfield already had an open gun felony case, he was released without bail being set on the new case. In April 2021, while Mansfield was out on release status for both pending cases, the family of the homicide victim, Frania Espinal, who had been dating Mansfield, reported her missing to the Suffolk County Police Department. On or about April 10, 2021, video evidence showed Mansfield and Espinal entering the defendant’s apartment at 1797 Heckscher Avenue in Bay Shore. Espinal was never seen alive again and her family thereafter reported her as missing, causing law enforcement to begin an investigation into her disappearance. Mansfield was arrested on April 16, 2021, after stating to a friend that he strangled someone and had the body in his residence. A search warrant was executed at Mansfield’s residence and Espinal’s body was found wrapped in a tarp in the bedroom of the residence. The Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide with the cause of death being strangulation. Espinal had multiple injuries including blunt force trauma to her head, multiple hemorrhages to her neck and a fracture of the thyroid cartilage. Indictments were not sought as to the November 2020 felony gun possession case or the initial non-fatal strangulation case until after the death of Frania Espinal. On March 29, 2023, Mansfield pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Richard I. Horowitz, to Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class B violent felony; Strangulation in the Second Degree, a Class D violent felony; and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class C violent felony. 3 On June 8, 2023, Judge Horowitz sentenced Mansfield to 30 years in prison. Mansfield was represented by Gerald Carter, Esq. The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Rose Romeo of the Major Crime Bureau, Dena Rizopoulos of the Homicide Bureau, and Kristin Barnes of the Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau.

Suffolk County PBA
500 Expressway Dr South
Brentwood, NY 11717

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