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Man gets 18 years for ’98 bar slay

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

The death of Kilkenny native Francis O’Loughlin in a Queens bar four years ago has not gone unpunished.

The man convicted of fatally shooting O’Loughlin, Miguel Valerio, will be sentenced in a few days to an 18-year prison term by a New York State Supreme Court judge.

O’Loughlin, who was 32, died from a single shot to the back of the head in the early morning hours of Sept. 5, 1998.

The shooting occurred after an argument between O’Loughlin and Valerio concerning O’Loughlin’s girlfriend, who was tending bar at the Mad Ass Tavern on 43rd Street in Long Island City.

The investigation revealed that the initial argument had ended and that Valerio had left the bar. However, Valerio, who worked in the bar as porter and lived in Corona, returned to the bar an hour later and resumed drinking.

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When he spotted O’Loughlin entering the men’s bathroom, Valerio followed him and shot him once in the head.

O’Loughlin was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was placed on life support.

Valerio fled to Delaware but was arrested there in the summer of 2000.

Valerio, who is now the same age as O’Loughlin was when he died, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter.

Supreme Court Justice Robert Hanophy indicated that he would hand down a sentence of 18 years at a sentencing hearing on March 7.

“This was a vicious, unjustified killing for which the defendant will serve a lengthy prison sentence. Justice has been done,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.

O’Loughlin had been working with his brothers as a carpenter at the time of his death. He had been planning to save enough money to return to Ireland and open his own business.

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