Mother of slain veteran outraged as son’s killer set free for time served: ‘One year for murder?’

The mother of a murdered Afghanistan War veteran decried the failings of the justice system as New York City’s criminal-friendly district attorney has permitted the “absolute disgrace” of light sentences for those responsible.

Madeline Brame learned earlier this week that Mary Saunders, sentenced to one year in jail for her involvement in the death of Sgt. Hason Correa in Oct. 2018, would be set free for time served having already spent 14 months behind bars. Saunders had been joined by her brothers James and Christopher along with one Travis Stewart when Sgt. Correa and his father Wesley were assaulted in Harlem.

Both were recorded being punched, kicked and stomped as Sgt. Correa, a husband and father of three, suffered 11 stab wounds that led to his death and Wesley Correa suffered 12 stab wounds that have left him disabled. “This,” Brame expressed, “is an absolute disgrace, an atrocity, a miscarriage of justice.”

She explained to the New York Post that she hadn’t even been made aware by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office that a hearing was taking place where Saunders had taken a plea deal.

“If I knew about the hearing earlier … I would have been in that courtroom raising holy hell,” she said.

“One year for murder? That’s so disrespectful and dishonors my son’s military service to this country. It’s so insulting, it’s so insulting,” Brame went on and added, “There’s a video of everything that happened, blow by blow. Mary Saunders had significant exposure to this brutal, heinous crime. She was a full participant.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) who is running against Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) in the 2022 gubernatorial election released a statement to the governor’s office and called for the immediate termination of DA Alvin Bragg for his continued failings for the citizens of NYC.

“Sergeant Correa had his future stolen from him, and now the criminals who robbed him of living a full life are being handed a free pass,” Zeldin wrote.

“My son is dead forever,” Brame added in a press release. “Mary Saunders has been free this entire time and now will enjoy this Memorial Day knowing she will continue to enjoy the freedom Hason fought for after only having served 14 months in prison for his murder.”

Assistant District Attorney Dafna Yoran stated in court Thursday, “The people do not believe that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mary Saunders knew that her brother had a knife, or that she shared the intent to kill Hason Correa.”

“We also assured Ms. Brame that we will be proceeding to trial against her son’s stabber and his brother, who are both facing murder charges,” Yoran explained. However, that promise is of little comfort knowing that Stewart, who also took a plea deal, is expected to serve only seven years for his involvement in the murder of Sgt. Correa.

Zeldin’s statement continued, “While Mary was reunited with her family, Sergeant Correa’s children were forced to endure the pain of growing up without their father. While Mary was free to care for her children, Sergeant Correa’s parents were grieving the loss of their son. While Mary and many other convicted criminals were being granted freedom under the disastrous bail reform, law-abiding citizens were deprived of their freedom to safely walk the streets, ride the subway and more. These outrageous bail ‘reforms’ have only resulted in a broken, deformed criminal justice system in our state. A system that was in place to protect law-abiding citizens now rewards criminals.”

“In order to prevent additional egregious settlements being made in New York,” the legislator wrote of the soft-on-crime policies like “Bail Reform” that have made the streets more dangerous, “Alvin Bragg must be immediately fired.”


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