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Police Say The Son Of Retired New York Judge Fatally Beat Mother Before Jumping To His Death

Police say Doug Solomon, the son of a prominent New York judge killed his mother, Diane Gallagher, before jumping to his death,

By Constance Johnson
A photo of Doug Solomon and his mother Diane Gallagher

The 26-year-old son of a retired New York judge beat his mother to death with a piece of furniture before jumping 16 floors to his death, multiple media outlets reported.

Doug Solomon’s body was reportedly discovered in the courtyard of his family’s co-op building on New York’s Upper East Side. He was reportedly naked and bleeding. Authorities said his injuries were consistent with someone falling from an elevated position.

Neighbors heard screaming as he fell to his death.

“It was the loudest thud. At first, I thought it was an air conditioning unit,” a neighbor, who did not wish to be identified, told the New York Post. “I looked down and he was right below my window … he was butt naked.”

Another neighbor, who was also not identified, reported hearing yelling on Tuesday morning before the bodies were discovered.

“I heard a bunch of voices. I thought it was construction workers arguing,” the resident told the New York Post.

Authorities found Solomon’s mother, Diane Gallagher, 65, in her bedroom. She may have been beaten with a bed lamp, according to WNBC. She suffered severe blunt trauma to her head and face. Gallagher had a large gash on her forehead and behind her right ear, the station reported, citing senior law enforcement officials.

There were also signs of trauma that may have been caused by choking or extreme force to the skull. The deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide, the station reported.

Police have not provided a possible motive and there was no history of domestic violence or mental health issues, according to multiple media outlets.

Gallagher’s husband and Doug Solomon’s father, Charles Solomon, retired in 2018 after 30 years as a New York Supreme Court judge. He presided over several high-profile cases including the 2001 Sean “P-Diddy” Combs nightclub shooting trial.

The New York Post reports that he was forced to retire from the bench after a cancer diagnosis.

The elder Solomon was not at home during the alleged murder-suicide. Both his wife and son were asleep when he left the apartment at 8:30 am on Tuesday morning, according to WNBC.

He reportedly told investigators that he was not close to his son, but Doug was close to his mother. He also told authorities that he and Gallagher had discussed their son’s future on Monday night, WNBC reported.

Charles Solomon told investigators that his son dropped out of college and became heavily involved with alcohol and marijuana in recent years, according to WNBC.

Charles Solomon reportedly has a daughter who was expected to marry soon, according to WNBC.

Another neighbor, only identified as Martine, said she has heartbroken over Gallagher’s death.

“She’s just one of the most amazing people. Bright, articulate, dancer,” Martine told the New York Post.

Martine said Gallagher was a former dance and music teacher, calling her “very capable.”

“A great mother, a great wife, a great everything and a really great friend,” Martine said. “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.”