Widow of Queens ‘Duck Sauce Killer’ found not guilty of weapons possession

NEW YORK — After a Queens Criminal Court trial that spanned over two months, the widow of “Duck Sauce Killer” Glenn Hirsch was found not guilty Wednesday of 18 charges of gun possession.

Dorothy Hirsch, 64, walked out of Queens Supreme Criminal Court a free woman over two years after being charged with possession of eight guns in a closet of her home, some of them loaded.

“I am validated. I feel vindicated because I think everybody knew except the DA’s office that I was innocent,” Dorothy Hirsch said in a shaking voice after she was acquitted of all charges.

“I even lost a job because of this case. I am a person who helps people, I am a nurse. I help my patients, my family and friends. I agonize over my family and friends having to disrupt their lives for them to be here.”

The mood was celebratory after the bench trial verdict, with family members and friends embracing in the hallway of the courthouse.

The defendant’s sister, Maria Teresa Melendez, said that the family went through many sleepless nights thinking about the accusations against her sister.

“It hurts so much because I know her very well and she will not do such a thing. The way they accuse my sister and how they say all those things to her is so disgusting. I was so disgusted,” Melendez told the Daily News.

Mark Bederow, Dorothy Hirsch’s lawyer, said that the prosecutors attempted to humiliate her for being a survivor of domestic violence, and were especially harsh during their summation.

“I have been doing this for 25 years and I have never seen anything in a courtroom more disgraceful and inappropriate than the end of that summation where out of left field they implied on top of a case that already made no sense that she somehow was complicit or knew something about Glenn’s alleged crimes,” said Bederow.

Towards the end of the trial, the 911 call that Dorothy Hirsch made after she received an email from her husband saying he was about to commit suicide was submitted as evidence. On the call, she told the operator that Glenn was not and had never been violent. The prosecutors pointed to that recording as evidence that her testimony of domestic abuse was unreliable.

“I was absolutely retraumatized. It was like I was there again, that day,” said Dorothy Hirsch. “I was in a state of hysteria and could not even think about or really hear what the questions were. And this supposedly was their evidence that I am not a reliable person.”

“I thought every time they did something low, I didn’t think they could go any lower. But I guess this pit of excrement that they’re willing to go into is just bottomless,” she said.

Prosecutors had argued that Dorothy Hirsch was guilty of the charges because she had USPS postal packages, Ziplock bags and Amazon boxes in her apartment similar to the ones used to pack the firearms.

“It’s disgusting. Everybody has Ziplock bags, this and that in their homes,” Dorothy Hirsch said.

“Bringing a woman to trial, subjecting her potentially to a prison sentence by arguing that because there were Ziplock bags in the apartment, that somehow is proof of her guilt, that’s pathetic. All of this was pathetic,” Bederow said.

The eight weapons were found during a search of Dorothy Hirsch’s Briarwood apartment in June 2022 after Glenn Hirsch was arrested for murdering beloved Chinese food delivery man Zhiwen Yan, 45. The NYPD found a cluttered closet containing the guns stored in boxes, trash bags, Ziplock bags and tin foil, including .38s, magnums, Lugers and 9-mm. pistols.

Glenn Hirsch was accused of murdering Yan in a months-long feud with Great Wall Restaurant in Forest Hills over whether enough duck sauce was included with his delivery orders.

It was never claimed that any of the weapons found in Dorothy Hirsch’s home were used to kill Yan.

Dorothy Hirsch maintained everything in that closet belonged to her husband, saying it was filled with only his belongings.

The defendant testified that after years of living with abuse, she moved out of the apartment she shared with her husband and into a nearby co-op in 2019. About a month later, Glenn Hirsch started taking things kept at a storage unit in West Hempstead and putting them into his wife’s new home.

At first he placed them in her bedroom but later moved them into the closet where the illegal firearms were discovered, she said during the trial.

While out on $500,000 bail, Glenn Hirsch shot himself to death on Aug. 5, 2022, with a gun that had not been discovered during a police search of his home. In a six-page suicide note he railed against the press and swore his wife was innocent of any charges.

“We are disappointed with the outcome but respect the court’s verdict,” said Queens District Attorney spokesperson Brendan Brosh.

For Dorothy Hirsch, Wednesday marked the end of a period in which her husband had been charged with murder, killed himself and she had been facing charges for years and on trial for months.

“I’ll go to my cats and feed them their favorite croissants and Shake Shack burger,” she said of her plans to celebrate her victory.