D.A. Bragg Announces Prison Sentence of Man For Murdering His Wife In Washington Heights

August 23, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the sentencing of JULIO APONTE, 65, to 20 years-to-life in state prison for murdering his wife, Maria Kelly, 49, by repeatedly hitting her in the head with a crowbar at a Washington Heights bus stop. APONTE pleaded guilty to one count of Murder in the Second Degree on June 20, 2023.

“Maria Kelly’s life was taken too soon when her husband viciously pummeled her in the head with a crowbar while on her way to work, leaving her for dead on the street,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Now, Julio Aponte is facing significant accountability for this chilling and horrific attack. I hope that this sentence brings Ms. Kelly’s family, friends and loved ones a sense of relief, comfort and justice.”

APONTE and Ms. Kelly were married for over 20 years. In May of 2021 Ms. Kelly left to live with her mother. According to court documents and statements made on the record, on June 14, 2021, at approximately 6:50 a.m., APONTE confronted his wife at a bus stop near 163rd Street and Fort Washington Avenue and beat her with a crowbar multiple times on her head.

APONTE left her lying unconscious on the ground and fled the scene. He called 911 and told the operator that he killed his wife. When officers arrived to arrest him, APONTE also admitted to the incident.

Ms. Kelly suffered significant injuries to her head and skull, including skull fractures and severe brain damage, which caused her heart to stop functioning properly. She remained in critical condition for several days until she was taken off life support, nearly a week later.  

Assistant D.A.s Jeffrey Levinson and Jean Prisco handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Executive Assistant D.A. Justin McNabney (Chief of the Special Victims Division), and Executive Assistant D.A. Lisa DelPizzo (Chief of the Trial Division). Digital Evidence Analyst Briana Rosso, Investigative Analyst Phillip Kersch (former Trial Preparation Assistant), and former Paralegals Talia Land and Elena Gaffey provided valuable assistance in this case.

D.A. Bragg thanked the NYPD, in particular the 33rd Precinct, especially Detective Alexandra Maldonado and Arresting Officer Scott Isaacs. He also thanked Detective Richard Koprowski of the Manhattan North Homicide Squad.

Defendant Information:


New York, NY


  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-I felony, one count


  • 20 years-to-life in state prison