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Man who Fed Rat Poison to his own Kids Gets 20 Yrs to Life

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Leonardo Espinal (c.) at Bronx Supreme Court on Thursday while being sentenced for murdering his son and attempting to murder his daughter with rat poison on their pizza.

MICHAEL SCHWARTZ FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Leonardo Espinal (c.) at Bronx Supreme Court on Thursday while being sentenced for murdering his son and attempting to murder his daughter with rat poison on their pizza.

A Bronx judge had a message Thursday to a deranged father who fed his kids rat poison: Drop dead.

“If only he had ingested that pizza and it had done its job,” Supreme Court Justice Troy Webber said about Leonardo Espinal, who killed his young son and tried to kill his daughter.

Espinal, 49, was sentenced to 20 years-to-life for giving his 5-year-old son Steward Espinal pizza laced with rat poison and then submerging him in a bathtub.

He also fed the poison pizza to his 7-year-old daughter Mia, but she survived.

“I don’t know how any parent could do such a thing,” Webber said to Espinal at his sentencing.

“I don’t know how any human could do such a thing. This is beyond excuse,” the irate justice said, after Espinal, asked through an interpreter if he had anything to say, responded with a monotone “No.”

“I’m glad to put you in prison,” Webber continued.

“I would not want to live in this community knowing that you are out there walking the streets, and I really would not want my children living here,” she said.

The grieving mother told the court that Espinal had cruelly killed her life’s greatest love.

Maniac dad Leonardo Espinal has been sentenced to 20-years-to-life in prison. He fed rat poison to his kids, killing 5-year-old son Steward and injuring of his daughter Mia, who was 7 at the time.

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Maniac dad Leonardo Espinal has been sentenced to 20-years-to-life in prison. He fed rat poison to his kids, killing 5-year-old son Steward and injuring of his daughter Mia, who was 7 at the time.

“My children were my life. He knew this and wanted and accomplished in destroying everything I had,” wrote Rosaura Abreu, 32, in a statement read aloud by prosecutors in Bronx Supreme Court. The sobbing mother stood just feet from the murderer.

“From that day forward nothing has been complete.”

Abreu said that her “radiant” son followed her around their apartment and insisted on being kissed goodbye on the morning of Nov. 6, 2012, before her ex-husband Espinal came by to babysit him and their daughter Mia.

She recalled kneeling down and kissing her beloved son — their final moment before the gruesome crime.

“It was as if my soul knew that it would be the last time that I saw him alive,” Abreu penned in the speech read by prosecutor Jill Starishevsky.

That night, while Espinal was babysitting the kids at their stepmom’s University Heights apartment, he called Abreu and threatened to commit suicide.

The horrified mother quickly called her stepmother, who found daughter Mia asleep in her own vomit on the couch.

Espinal was locked in the bathroom with Steward.

Steward Espinal, 5, died after his dad fed rat poison to him.

COURTESY PHOTO

Steward Espinal, 5, died after his dad fed rat poison to him.

Cops barged through the bathroom door to find the killer dad in the water-filled tub cradling his unresponsive son, prosecutors said.

Both children were rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where Steward died early the next morning, authorities said.

Prosecutors later determined that Espinal fed both children, and himself, a pizza loaded with rat poison.

Mia survived, but struggles every time she sees another child the same age as her brother, Abreu wrote.

Family friends told the Daily News at the time that the killings were motivated by a recent breakup.

Espinal and Abreu had been together more than a decade, they said, before the mother kicked him out of their apartment two weeks before the killing.

The deadly dad, with salt-and-pepper hair and black glasses, stood emotionless and said nothing during the sentencing, while lawyer Howard Levine claimed that he was “remorseful for his actions.”

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