D.A. Bragg Announces Prison Sentence For Fatal Stabbing In Midtown

September 14, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the sentencing of LAWRENCE DOWNEY, 56, to 20 years in state prison for fatally stabbing 39-year-old Ronald Massaro in November of 2020. On April 13, 2023, DOWNEY pleaded guilty in a New York State Supreme Court to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree.

“While Ronald Massaro decided to remain peaceful by walking away after an argument, Lawrence Downey resorted to violence, following and killing Mr. Massaro on a midtown sidewalk,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Thanks to the hard work of our prosecutors, Downey has been held accountable for this attack. I hope this resolution offers some comfort to Mr. Massaro’s loved ones, who continue to grieve him.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, on November 21, 2020, Mr. Massaro and DOWNEY argued outside of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott hotel, where DOWNEY was staying. While Mr. Massaro began walking away, DOWNEY went to his room. A few moments later, DOWNEY followed Mr. Massaro’s path until he caught up to him. At approximately 9:00 p.m., DOWNEY stabbed Mr. Massaro with a knife, once in the chest and once in the abdomen, near West 38th Street and Eighth Avenue. Mr. Massaro immediately fell to the ground, bleeding. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

DOWNEY fled the scene, rushing back to his room. He was arrested there a few hours later. Pursuant to a search warrant, officers recovered the knife and clothing DOWNEY was seen wearing during the incident from the room.

Assistant D.A. Jessica Lynn (Chief of Trial Bureau 50) and ADA Shea Donato handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Executive D.A. Lisa DelPizzo (Chief of the Trial Division). Trial Preparation Assistant Hannah Gelber, along with former TPAs Rachel Totz and Gabriel Rosenbaum assisted in this case.

D.A. Bragg thanked Midtown South Detective Squad, especially Detective John Kiernan. He also thanked the Manhattan South Homicide Squad, especially Detective Oscar Diaz.

Defendant Information:

New York, NY


  • Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count


  • 20 years in state prison, 5 years post-release supervision