By Ben Khockman:A career criminal will spend 18 years behind bars after he admitted Tuesday he pushed an innocent father into the path of an oncoming Bronx subway car.
Kevin Darden, 36, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for shoving 61-year-old Wai Kuen Kuok to his death at the 167th St. station.
Kuok, who worked for a kitchen supply company in Brooklyn, was on his way to Chinatown to buy groceries with his wife on Nov. 16, 2014, when Darden pushed him in front of a southbound D train.
The victim’s wife watched helplessly as the subway car crushed her husband, with whom she shared two adult sons.
Darden didn’t say a word before the chilling unprovoked attack.
Darden was originally charged with second-degree murder, and faced 25 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.
At a brief hearing in Bronx Supreme Court, the ex-con repeatedly answered, “yes” when asked if he had committed the horrific crime.
In a statement, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office said it was willing to make the lenient 18-year deal “after careful consideration of all the facts and evidence,” and after discussing it with the victim’s family.
The ex-con’s sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 25. Under the terms of his plea deal, he will be under state supervision for five years after completing his prison term.
According to police, he has been arrested at least 30 times — including a 2011 bust for trying to torch his brother’s house in Texas.
Darden spent more than seven years in state prison for a 1999 robbery, including nearly 500 days in disciplinary confinement for violent behavior, police said.