Tag Archives: Murder

Human remains found in duffel bag on Far Rockaway shore identified


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Image via Google maps

Three months after human remains were discovered in a black duffel bag along the Far Rockaway shoreline, police have identified the victim and are investigating the death as a homicide.

The remains, now identified as 26-year-old Westerley Osson, who has an unknown address, were found inside the duffel bag the morning of March 30 near 14-52 Gipson St., according to authorities.

On Wednesday, the medical examiner determined the cause of death due to be from homicidal asphyxia, according to a spokeswoman from the office.

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Astoria man found fatally stabbed in his home


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

Updated Monday, June 22, 3:23 p.m.

Detectives are looking for leads in the homicide of a 54-year-old man who was found repeatedly stabbed inside his Astoria apartment on Saturday morning.

Officers from the 114th Precinct found Enver Julevic with multiple stab wounds to his torso inside his residence on 12th Street near 31st Avenue at 6:17 a.m. Paramedics responded to the location and pronounced him dead.

According to authorities, a friend of the victim tried to contact Julevic previously and, after receiving no response, went to the apartment for a visit. Using a spare key, the friend entered the apartment and discovered Julevic lying on the dining room floor.

No arrests have been made as of yet, and the investigation is ongoing, authorities said.

Anyone with information regarding the murder is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages will be kept confidential.

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Forest Park homicide suspect knew his victim: DA


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated June 22, 2:57 p.m.

Sought for questioning in the recent murder of a Flushing man in Forest Park, a person of interest in the case was picked up by police for drinking inside the park on Friday night and was later charged with the homicide, authorities said.

Zoltan Forai, also known as Stephen Forai, was apprehended by police on Friday in connection to the June 10 murder of Diego Piedrahita, 23, of Booth Memorial Avenue, law enforcement officials stated.

The motive for the murder is still unknown, but according to authorities, Forai and the victim were known to each other.

Sometime between June 8 and June 9, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, Forai allegedly kicked Piedrahita about the head and body, then used a rock to strike him multiple times in his face and head, causing his death. Parkgoers discovered Piedrahita’s body on the afternoon of June 10.

According to police, Forai was spotted by police last Friday at Woodhaven Boulevard and Myrtle Avenue near Forest Park. Forai, who was known to frequent the Forest Park Bandshell and Victory Field, was allegedly observed drinking a can of beer, and he was arrested for drinking in public.

Forai allegedly shaved his beard so as to not look like the bearded suspect wanted for questioning in Piedrahita’s death, authorities said.

Forai was arraigned on Saturday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Bruna DiBiase on second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon charges. He was ordered held without bail and must to return to court on July 2; if convicted, Forai faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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Person of interest sought in Forest Park murder


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking to question an individual regarding the murder of a Flushing man found dead in Forest Park Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Zoltan Forai, also known as Stephen Forai, is believed to frequent the Bandshell and Victory Field areas of the park, police said. He is described as 44 years old, standing about 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds and having brown eyes, brown hair and a beard.

The body of Diego Piedrahita, 23, of Booth Memorial Avenue was discovered by two park-goers at about 3:30 p.m. near Park Lane South and Woodhaven Boulevard, police said.

Piedrahita — who had blunt force trauma to the head, possibly as the result of a tree limb being used as a weapon — was pronounced dead at the scene. His death was later ruled a homicide.

According to police sources, Piedrahita’s wallet and identification were found at the scene and there were no signs of a robbery. He did not have a criminal record.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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First-degree murder indictment for alleged Queens Village cop killer


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated 4:08 p.m.

A Queens Village man accused of fatally shooting a police officer last month pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to an indictment that includes first-degree murder charges, District Attorney Richard Brown announced.

Demetrius Blackwell, 35, of 212th Place allegedly shot P.O. Brian Moore as the officer and his partner, P.O. Erik Jansen, approached him in their unmarked police cruiser on the night of May 2. Moore was struck in the head and died two days later at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

Blackwell was arrested hours after the shooting and remains in custody. He appeared in Queens Criminal Court Thursday afternoon before Judge Joseph Zayas for arraignment on a 12-count indictment that includes charges of first-degree murder, aggravated murder and attempted murder; second-degree criminal possession of a weapon; and drug possession charges.

If convicted, Blackwell faces life in prison without the possibility of parole — the maximum sentence under New York State law. He remains held without bail and was ordered to return to court on Sept. 17.

“The defendant’s alleged actions are a direct attack on society and the law and reminds us of the dangers that our police officers face each day — and the ultimate sacrifice they may be called upon to make — as they carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve our communities,” Brown said in a statement Thursday.

Moore and Jansen, both assigned to the 105th Precinct, were riding in the unmarked car along 104th Road near 212th Street in Queens Village at 6:15 p.m. on May 2 when they allegedly observed Blackwell adjusting his waistband, law enforcement sources said.

The officers then pulled up alongside Blackwell to question him when he allegedly pulled a black firearm out of his waistband and opened fire on the officers, according to police. Moore sustained two gunshot wounds to his head; Jansen was uninjured.

Following the shooting, Blackwell — in an attempt to alter his appearance — stole a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers, prosecutors said. Police, however, caught up to him later that night at his home. The gun he allegedly used — a silver revolver reported stolen from Georgia in 2011 — was also recovered.

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Texas man indicted in 2005 Queens murder of godfather


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

A man accused of fatally stabbing his 85-year-old godfather in Queens a decade ago is finally facing charges after being arrested in Texas, prosecutors said.

Jamal Darrow, 35, of San Antonio, was arraigned Monday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder on a three-count indictment charging him with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder following extradition from his home state, according to the district attorney’s office.

“The defendant has been on the run for 10 years, but he could not hide from justice forever. The accused — the godson of the elderly man — allegedly took a knife and stabbed the victim multiple times as he tried to rob him of his valuables,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Darrow, according to the charges, stabbed his godfather, Charles Boyd, on April 1, 2005, while in the midst of a robbery inside the elderly man’s 116th Avenue home. The retired bus driver and widower suffered stab wounds to the torso, face and neck.

According to the San Antonio Express News, the case went cold for years until 2013, when new leads and information eventually led to Texas and Darrow’s apprehension on Wednesday.

Darrow, who was ordered held without bail and to return to court on July 17, faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

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Woman stabbed to death in South Richmond Hill residence


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

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A 27-year-old woman was fatally stabbed during an apparent domestic dispute inside her South Richmond Hill home early Tuesday morning, according to police.

Officers from the 102nd Precinct discovered the victim in the basement of the home on 134th Street near 97th Avenue at about 6:46 a.m. Moments earlier, according to police, the landlord heard a commotion coming from the basement and contacted 911.

Reportedly, the victim was found lying on the living room floor with stab wounds to her shoulder and wrist. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene. The victim’s identity was not disclosed pending family notification.

No arrests were made at the scene, and detectives are continuing to search for the woman’s killer, police said.

Anyone with information regarding the murder is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), followed by TIP577. All calls and messages will be kept confidential.

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Suspect arrested for 2013 Jamaica homicide


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps/Inset courtesy Richmond County, Va. Sheriff's Office

Following a two-year investigation, a Virginia man is facing justice for the March 2013 murder of a 21-year-old Jamaica man at a neighborhood intersection.

Police said Melquan Collier, 23, of Warsaw, Virginia, allegedly shot Roshane Morrison, 21, of Dillon Street in Jamaica on the morning of March 31, 2013. He was extradited back to Queens on May 21 and booked on charges of second-degree murder, bail jumping and criminal possession of a weapon.

Officers from the 113th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call, found Morrison shot in the torso at the corner of 110th Avenue and 179th Place. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Jamaica Hospital.

According to authorities, the U.S. Marshals alerted the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office last week that Collier was possibly in their area.

Based on further investigation, the sheriff’s office reportedly tracked Collier to a home in Haynesville, Virginia, where he was located during a May 18 raid. Law enforcement sources said Collier – who tried to conceal his true identity by providing police with a fake name – was apprehended at the scene. Officers also seized two firearms from the home.

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Jamaica funeral set for rapper slain in Briarwood drive-by shooting


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@chinxmusic

A Jamaica church will host the wake and funeral Tuesday for the rapper Chinx, real name Lionel Pickens, who was murdered in a Briarwood drive-by shooting on May 17.

Family members, friends, relatives and colleagues will gather at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral, located at 110-31 Merrick Blvd., on May 26 at 11 a.m. for a brief wake, followed by funeral services set to begin at noon.

Pickens, a Rockaway native who resided in Ozone Park, was gunned down while sitting with a friend inside his Porsche at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 84th Avenue at 4:04 a.m. on May 17. According to police, an unidentified gunman pulled up in another vehicle and opened fire, then sped away from the scene.

Shot multiple times about his body, Pickens died later that morning at Jamaica Hospital. His friend, a 27-year-old man, remains hospitalized in critical condition after sustaining a gunshot wound to his back.

As Chinx, Pickens was considered to be an up-and-coming star in the hip-hop world. His career began with a partnership with the late rapper Stack Bundles, but was sidetracked after being sentenced to prison for a robbery conviction in 2005.

While Pickens was incarcerated, Bundles was himself shot to death. According to the NY Daily News, police are reportedly investigating whether the two murders are connected.

After being released from prison in 2008, Pickens relaunched his rap career with French Montana. Chinx gained a following among hip-hop fans following the 2012 release of his single, “I’m a Coke Boy.” He was slated to release an album later this year titled “Welcome to JFK.”

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Reputed gang member arrested in murder on Roosevelt Avenue


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD/via Google Maps

Updated Monday, May 18, 4:09 p.m. 

A reported gang member has been apprehended in the deadly shooting of a Corona man in Jackson Heights earlier this month, authorities said.

Raul Zamora, a reputed member of the Sureños 13 gang, has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree gang assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the death of 38-year-old Jorge Manzanarez, according to the district attorney’s office.

Police identified Zamora, 33, who lives in Jackson Heights, just blocks from the crime scene, as the suspected shooter last Monday, arresting him on Saturday.

According to officials, Zamora and two other unapprehended individuals got into an argument with Manzanarez at about 2:30 p.m. on May 5 on Roosevelt Avenue near 94th Street. Manzanarez was then shot once in the chest.

Manzanarez was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Zamora, who faces 25 years to life in prison, was ordered held with out bail at his arraignment on Sunday.

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Suspect identified in fatal shooting of Corona man on Roosevelt Avenue


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD/via Google Maps

Police have identified an alleged gang member as the shooter suspected of killing a 38-year-old Corona man in broad daylight on a Jackson Heights street last week.

According to authorities, Raul Zamora, a reported member of the Sureños 13 gang, and two other individuals got into a verbal dispute with the victim, Jorge Manzanarez, just before 2:30 p.m. on May 5 on Roosevelt Avenue near 94th Street. Zamora then pulled out a gun, shooting Manzanarez in the torso. Police believe the shooting was gang-related.

EMS rushed Manzanarez to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Zamora is described as 33 years old, Hispanic, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 145 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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NYPD officer shot in Queens Village dies of his injuries


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPDNews

BY ROBERT POZARYCKI AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

Updated Tuesday, May 5, 2:07 p.m.

The police officer who was shot while on patrol in Queens Village Saturday night died of his injuries Monday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

P.O. Brian Moore, 25, of the 105th Precinct, had reportedly been in a medically induced coma at Jamaica Hospital after complications from emergency surgery set in.

“He already proved himself to be an exceptional young officer,” Bratton said of Moore, who had been on the force for just under five years. Bratton, speaking outside of Jamaica Hospital Monday afternoon, added that in that short time, Moore had made 150 arrests, winning various medals for meritorious service.

Officer Brian Moore (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Officer Brian Moore (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

“We ask for the people of the city to pray for them,” Bratton continued, referring to Moore’s family, which includes his father and an uncle, both retired NYPD sergeants, and a cousin who is on the job.

Moore was behind the wheel of an unmarked police car when was shot by the alleged gunman, identified as Demetrius Blackwell, 35, of 212th Place in Queens Village.

Authorities said Moore and his partner, P.O. Erik Jansen, pulled up to Blackwell at the corner of 212th Street and 104th Road at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday and questioned him after observing him motioning toward his waistband as if handling a firearm.

Upon questioning Blackwell, the suspect allegedly pulled out a firearm and fired several shots at the car, striking Moore in the face and head.

Jansen, who was uninjured, radioed for assistance. A responding patrol car rushed Moore to Jamaica Hospital. Though he was listed as being in critical but stable condition as of Sunday, his condition reportedly worsened thereafter.

Police tracked down Blackwell at his home Saturday night, a few hours after the shooting took place. The weapon believed to have been used in the shooting, a silver revolver reported stolen from Georgia in 2011, was recovered by officers in Queens Village Monday.

As of Monday morning, Blackwell was currently being held without bail on first-degree attempted murder and other charges. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced later that afternoon that the charges against Blackwell will be upgraded as a result of Moore’s death to first-degree murder.

Photo via Instagrams/@schweetlife

The Queens Village street near where Moore was shot on Saturday. (Photo via Instagrams/@schweetlife)

According to the NYPD, a wake for Moore, who resided in Massapequa, Long Island, will be held on Thursday at the Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in Bethpage from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. His funeral will take place the following day, at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, Long Island, at 11 a.m.

On Monday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all flags to fly at half-staff on all city buildings and stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs until Moore is laid to rest. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also ordered flags on all state government buildings to fly at half-staff.

This is the first line-of-duty homicide that the NYPD suffered since December, when Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were fatally shot on a Brooklyn street. Their killer took his own life moments after the shooting.

“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Brian Moore,” de Blasio said in a statement. “For five years, Brian served with distinction and he put his life on the line each day to keep us all safe. On Saturday, he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of New York City.”

President Obama — in Manhattan Monday for an address at Lehman College — also mourned the officer’s death.

“He came from a family of police officers,” Obama was quoted in The New York Times. “And the family of fellow officers he joined in the NYPD and across the country deserve our gratitude and our prayers, not just today but every day. They’ve got a tough job.”

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Rosedale businessman shot to death in car in St. Albans


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@jerwainegorman

Detectives are searching for the killer of a Rosedale businessman and civic activist who was gunned down inside a car on a St. Albans block Wednesday afternoon.

Jerwaine Gorman, 34, was shot in the chest while sitting inside a Mercedes-Benz in front of a home on 167th Street between Linden Boulevard and 115th Avenue at about 12:30 p.m. A woman sitting in the driver’s seat at the time was not injured, cops said.

According to police, an unidentified gunman walked up to the vehicle and fired a single shot at Gorman before fleeing the scene.

Paramedics rushed Gorman to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Gorman was an active member of the Southeast Queens Young Democrats and a successful entrepreneur in the area. According to his biography on the club’s website, Gorman started out as a real estate investor in 2003 at the age of 21. Within three years, he had acquired seven properties.

In 2006, Gorman opened up his own barbershop and community center and launched a Cold Stone Creamery franchise in Huntington, Long Island. He later opened his own ice cream parlor, Gorman’s Creamery, on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton.

In the community, Gorman reportedly coached a youth football team and advocated in previous years to have a stop sign installed in front of his daughter’s school.

Gorman leaves behind a wife and three children.

Anyone with information regarding the murder is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Queens nurse charged with murder in disabled toddler’s scalding death: DA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

HandcuffsHC0511_L_300_C_Y-624x413

Updated Thursday, April 30, 12:33 p.m.

A St. Albans nurse could face life in prison after she allegedly burned a severely developmentally disabled 1-year-old girl in scalding bath water, prosecutors said.

Oluyemisi Adebayo, 54, was arrested Wednesday morning as she was about to board a flight to Africa via London, according to the district attorney’s office. She was arraigned Thursday in Queens Criminal Court on a second-degree murder charge in the death of the 23-month-old girl from Rosedale.

Adebayo, a licensed practical nurse who was hired to take care of the child at her home, said the toddler was burned when she was giving her a bath on April 21, prosecutors said.

According to District Attorney Richard Brown, Adebayo stated that she had tested the water before placing the girl in a baby tub. When she removed the child, she noticed that her skin was falling off her legs.

On Friday, doctors at Nassau University Medical Center performed surgery on the child to treat second- and third-degree immersion scald burns that covered about 50 percent of her body, the district attorney said. The girl died three days later. Preliminary autopsy findings found that her cause of death was consistent with complications from thermal injury.

Medical personnel said that Adebayo’s story of how the child was burned was inconsistent with her injuries.

Tests performed by the NYPD found that the maximum water temperature of the faucet used to fill the tub was 130 degrees, and that it took about 120 seconds for the water to reach that level, prosecutors said. The severity of her injuries was consistent with her having been submerged up to her waist in 130 degree water for about 30 seconds.

Adebayo, who was ordered held without bail, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Adebayo as a licensed nurse practitioner. 

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Richmond Hill man charged in fatal shooting of Queens grandmother


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD113Pct

Updated Monday, April 27, 5:11 p.m.

Detectives slapped the cuffs on a Richmond Hill man Friday night for fatally shooting a 71-year-old grandmother at her Jamaica home last month, authorities said.

Julian Douglas, 22, was arraigned Saturday on second-degree murder and weapons possession charges for the March 31 killing of Leta Webb at her 119th Avenue home.

According to the district attorney’s office, Webb answered a knock at her front door just before 2 a.m. that morning and, after opening it, was shot in the head and left arm.

Officers from the 113th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. Webb was pronounced dead later that morning at Jamaica Hospital.

Police reportedly believe that Webb was not the intended target of the shooting and that the incident may have been gang-related.

Douglas, who was remanded into custody, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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