The 26-year-old son of a retired Manhattan supreme court judge leaped naked to his death from the family’s posh NY Upper East Side co-op after allegedly bludgeoning his mother to death!
Doug Solomon plunged 16 stories after fatally beating his mother with a piece of furniture, police and law-enforcement sources said. His naked body was found battered and bleeding in the courtyard of the East 79th Street building around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19. The rage fueled-attack on his mother and his death screams on the way down was heard by witnesses, cops said.
“It was the loudest thud. At first, I thought it was an air conditioning unit,” a resident of the building who declined to share his name told The New York Post.
“I looked down, and he was right below my window … he was butt naked.”
Solomon’s mother, Diane Gallagher, 65, was found dead in an apartment bedroom with head trauma after her son beat her with a piece of furniture, law enforcement sources said. A bedside lamp found in close proximity to her body is believed to be the murder weapon.
Charles Solomon, who retired as a New York Supreme Court judge in 2017 after three decades on the bench, is Doug’s father and Diane’s husband.
During his time in the Big Apple’s most storied courthouse, he heard a slew of high-profile murder cases, including the 2010 trial of Michael Lenahan, who infamously strangled Lorna Santiago and then lay in bed with her corpse for two days.
In 2001, he oversaw Sean “P-Diddy” Combs’ nightclub shooting trial, and in 2017, he approved a plea deal for Svetlana Travis Zakharova, one of Eliot Spitzer’s Russian prostitutes whom the former “Lov Gov” accused of extortion.
Following a bout with cancer, Solomon was forced to retire and most recently worked for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, according to the Post.
The judge, Charles Solomon, told police he left for work around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the day of the incident, according to what he told officials. He said his wife and his son Doug were sleeping in their respective beds when he left their East 79th Street home.
Doug had no history of criminal activity, and neither did his mother. Charles Solomon told detectives he and Doug were not close but that Doug was close to his mother, the senior law enforcement officials said. He also said he and his wife had discussed their son’s future the night before.
It wasn’t clear if that conversation could have led to a next-day argument between mother or son, that was apparently overheard by building residents.
So far, no possible motive has been released.
Charles Solomon told authorities his son struggled in college and dropped out, then got heavily involved in alcohol and marijuana in recent years, police officials said. But he said there was no known psychiatric history around Doug and that his son was not on any prescribed psychiatric medication.
One resident, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, lives a few floors below the family’s apartment and heard yelling the morning of the apparent murder-suicide.
“I heard a bunch of voices. I thought it was construction workers arguing,” the resident told The Post.
“I thought it was just people angry with each other.”
“Martine,” a neighbor of Gallagher’s who declined to share her last name, said the two had been friends for years, and she’s heartbroken over her death.
“She’s just one of the most amazing people. Bright, articulate, dancer,” the 79-year-old said.
“I just called her when I heard that something happened in the building. She was my go-to person … That’s the kind of friendship we had.”
Martine said Gallagher used to teach music and dance and has a daughter who’s getting ready to get married.
“Really just a very capable everything. A great mother, a great wife, a great everything, and really a great friend,” said Martine.
“I only have good things to say about her, and such a good listener. Always listened to me and my problems. She’s an amazing person.”
Police are unable to confirm further details about the incident at this time.
Units in the building start at about $1.6 million and go up to $3.5 million, according to listings at StreetEasy.com.