Steven O’Brien appeared in a Queens court for the death of Danny McGee

Steven O’Brien appeared in a New York City court on January 4 charged with third-degree assault in relation to the death of John ‘Danny’ McGee in November.

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In the early hours of November 22, 2018, O’Brien and McGee became embroiled in a fight inside The Gaslight Pub in the Sunnyside area of Queens, New York City. The fight spilled over onto the sidewalk before O’Brien delivered what turned out to be one fatal punch to 21-year-old McGee.

McGee, who was born in the US but grew up in Longford in Ireland, had been in New York City working for nearly two years. O’Brien, a native of Dublin, was also working in New York City as a barman.

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On January 4, family and friends of both men attended the court hearing at Queens courthouse.

Matthew Gartenberg, attorney for Steven O’Brien, said the district attorney’s office was not yet ready for trial and had not made an offer for a plea deal to O’Brien.

O’Brien was released on a $25,000 bond in December after friends pooled in to make bail. Facing third-degree assault charges, O'Brien could face up to a year in prison if convicted.

“Mr. O’Brien is presumed innocent and we’re going to keep fighting the charges,” Gartenberg said.

The case was adjourned until February 21.

Among those in attendance at the court hearing was McGee’s aunt Denise Murphy. Speaking with The Queens Daily Eagle, she said: “Today would have been his 22nd birthday.”

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Denise and her husband Tim Murphy were joined by several of McGee’s friends at the courthouse.

“We’re here to make sure my nephew has representation,” Tim Murphy said. McGee’s immediate family still resides in Ireland.

“Christmas was very difficult,” he added. “Thanksgiving was very difficult ... And it will be for the rest of our lives.”

“I want this man to be punished as much as he can,” Murphy said of accused killer O’Brien. “He killed somebody.”