Marie McSweeney was driving her 87-year old mother home in 2004 when a piece of asphalt crashed through the windshield on the Sprain Brook Parkway in Yonkers.
Alberto Placensia pleaded not guilty to murder on Tuesday, though prosecutors say he "deliberately, purposely" aimed the 10-inch-long piece of asphalt thrown from an overpass. It slammed through her windshield and hit her in the head, then her car crashed.
Placensia was arrested last month, nearly nine years after the incident.
Detective John Geiss of the cold case unit says new witnesses came forward recently. Among court documents filed on Tuesday, a transcript of a phone call between the suspect and his friend after a newspaper account was published last year.
FRIEND: You saw it too?
PLECENSIA: No, but remember, we never speak about that?
FRIEND: But we were stoned.
PLECENSIA: That never happened.
Placencia's parents said little outside court, but their lawyer says he doubts the police's version.
The 48-year old victim was married. Her husband was too distraught to come to the courthouse, though the family says they never gave up hope.
The defendant's bail was set at $400,000. His next court date is Feb. 26.
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