Man pleads guilty to strangulation murder of young victim while he was out on bail

Darren Mansfield, a 23-year-old man, has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and second-degree strangulation in connection with the murder of a 22-year-old woman and the strangulation of another female victim. Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced that Mansfield will receive a 30-year sentence for his crimes.

The two acts of violence committed by Mansfield against these women were described as unimaginable by District Attorney Tierney. One of the victims managed to escape with her life despite suffering severe injuries, while the other was tragically killed. The 30-year sentence is intended to reflect the brutality of Mansfield’s actions and to protect the public from further harm.

In addition to the manslaughter and strangulation charges, Mansfield pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in an unrelated incident.

In November 2020, Mansfield was on a date with the first female victim at the Bay Shore Marina when he put her in a headlock and strangled her. This caused petechiae around her eyes and mouth, as well as severe swelling and bruises.

In April 2021, while Mansfield was out on bail after being arrested and indicted for the strangulation of the first victim, Frania Espinal, who had been dating Mansfield, was reported missing by her family. Video evidence showed the couple entering Mansfield’s apartment in Bay Shore, but Espinal was never seen alive again.

After Mansfield confessed to a friend that he had strangled someone and kept the body at his home, police executed a search warrant and discovered Espinal’s body wrapped in a tarp in the bedroom.

The Medical Examiner ruled Espinal’s death a homicide, with the cause of death being strangulation. Espinal had sustained multiple injuries, including blunt force trauma to her head, multiple hemorrhages to her neck, and a fractured thyroid cartilage. Mansfield pleaded guilty on March 29, 2023.