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Yonkers Man Faces Murder Charges In 2004 Sprain Parkway Overpass Asphalt Toss

WHITE PLAINS (CBSNewYork) - It was a shocking crime that stunned the area in 2004.

Marie McSweeney was driving on the Sprain Brook Parkway when someone hurled a chunk of asphalt from the Kimball Avenue overpass in the middle of the afternoon.

McSweeney, whose 87-year-old mother was in the car with her, was killed when the large mass smashed through the windshield and hit her on the head. Her car careened across the Parkway for about a third of a mile before crashing in the woods.

Now, long after the case went cold, police have solved it. Alberto Plasencia, 26, was arrested Tuesday and faces murder charges. If convicted, he could face 25 years to life in prison.

As CBS 2's Dick Brennan reported, McSweeney's friends were stunned to hear of the arrest, nearly nine years later.

"My gosh, I'm in shock," said Donna Libbey, "because it goes out of your mind; because you think it will never happen. Wow."

Yonkers police chased leads and went door-to-door in an effort to find whoever hurled the asphalt. A $6,000 reward was offered and police at the time were looking for three or four teens, around 14 years old, who were spotted throwing things from the overpass. But no arrests were made.

In 2009, though, homicide and cold case detectives got new information and reopened the case, the Westchester County District Attorney's office said. Police would not say how they cracked the case beyond that.

"This was not a game," said Cheryl Marcello, another friend of McSweeney's. "This was attempted murder and this was intentional murder, for them to go over and get the rocks, drop them."

Plascencia was ordered held without bail. He was set to appear in court next on Jan. 31.

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