A woman charged with murder for allegedly shoving a person into the path of an oncoming subway train denied during her arraignment Tuesday that she had admitted the killing the victim.
Melanie Liverpool, who police have described as mentally disturbed, said during the court hearing that she “didn’t admit” the act, despite a prosecutor’s assertion that she did, The Associated Press reported.
The 30-year-old Queens woman is accused of shoving an unsuspecting traveler off the subway platform on Monday afternoon at the the Times Square station.
The victim, identified Tuesday as Connie Watton, 49, of Queens, tumbled into the tracks as a southbound No. 1 train approached. She was killed instantly as bystanders watched in horror, police said.
Witnesses immediately alerted police officers, who apprehended the Liverpool in the station.
Watton was standing on the platform when Liverpool, wearing a pink shirt and scarf, lunged at her, police said.
Investigators were reviewing surveillance video and interviewing witnesses to determine a motive, said William Aubry, the police department’s chief of Manhattan detectives.
Many of those who saw the attack were visibly shaken. Some witnesses said Watton and Liverpool were involved in a dispute before the fatal shove, Aubry said, but it was not immediately clear whether the women knew each other.
Authorities have described Liverpool as emotionally disturbed. Her lawyer, Mathew Mari, said that he has little information on her medical history but that she worked as a home health aide until three weeks ago.
Dozens of people are hit by New York City subwaytrain s each year, although most of the incidents are accidental, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the system.
Last year, a woman was convicted and sentenced to 24 years in prison for killing a man by pushing him into the path of an oncoming New York subway train in 2012.