Tag Archives: Murder

Homeless Queens woman sentenced for 2010 Astoria Park beating, strangulation


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


A 33-year-old homeless woman has been sentenced to 17 years to life in prison for her role in the 2010 fatal beating and strangulation of a 32-year-old man in Astoria Park, according to the Queens district attorney.

Kelly Harnett, whose last known address was in Astoria, was convicted of second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and sentenced on Thursday at the Queens Supreme Court.

“The defendant, along with a male co-defendant, brutally attacked a 32-year-old man in the park. The victim was robbed of his wallet and viciously beaten and choked to death,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “This willful act of violence warranted a lengthy prison term.”

According to Brown, on July 7, 2010, at about 4 a.m. Harnett, together with Thomas Donovan, attacked the victim, Ruben Angel Vargas, by choking him manually and also with a shoelace from Harnett’s sneaker. Vargas was then kicked repeatedly in the head and torso and his wallet was taken while he lay motionless on the ground.

Donovan plead guilty in 2010 to first-degree manslaughter and is currently serving 15 years in prison.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Girlfriend charged with deadly botched robbery of boyfriend in St. Albans


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com


Updated at 4:15 p.m.

The girlfriend of a 33-year-old Jamaica man shot to death in St. Albans Thursday afternoon was locked up Friday for her role in the homicide, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said Natasha Mohabeer, 30, of 126th Street in South Ozone Park collaborated with two unidentified males to rob the victim, Michael Jonathan, at the corner of Fonda Avenue and Mayville Street just before 2:47 p.m. Thursday.

But all did not go according to plan, as Jonathan engaged the robbers in a physical struggle after they confronted him, police said. Moments later, one of the crooks reportedly shot Jonathan in the torso.

Authorities said both unidentified suspects remain at large.

Officers from the 113th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call regarding the incident, found Jonathan wounded at the intersection. Paramedics brought him to a local hospital, where he died a short time later.

In questioning Mohabeer, detectives learned that she worked with the two at-large suspects in concocting the planned robbery, according to prosecutors. Mohabeer was subsequently charged with second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

“This is yet another example of the senseless gun violence in our community that must end,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “[Mohabeer] now faces being locked behind bars for the rest of her life.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the two suspects 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.  

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Arrest made in Glendale homicide; actual shooter and accomplice still at large


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

Originally published Sunday, March 22, 11:02 a.m.
Updated Monday, March 23, 9:42 a.m.

Police arrested an Ozone Park woman Sunday night in connection with the fatal shooting of a 21-year-old man in Glendale earlier that morning.

Jordan Paulino, 17, of Glenmore Avenue faces first-degree manslaughter and other charges for her alleged role in the slaying of Jordan Santos, 21, of 84th Street in Lindenwood.

Law enforcement sources said Paulino and Santos were acquaintances, and that the suspect allegedly helped lure Santos to the Edsall Avenue location where he was shot inside his SUV at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

The actual shooter and an accomplice involved in the murder — both of whom were male, according to police — remain at large.

Officers from the 104th Precinct, in responding to a reported shooting, discovered Santos shot in the neck while sitting behind the wheel of a Lexus SUV parked on Edsall Avenue near 72nd Street. Paramedics rushed Santos to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

Reportedly, the unidentified shooter walked up to Santos, opened fire on him and fled in an unknown direction.

The investigation is ongoing. 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.

It was the second homicide in the 104th Precinct since last Saturday, March 14, when 21-year-old Eric Santiago was fatally shot outside a Ridgewood pool hall. Police arrested the suspected killer Thursday night.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Two charged in deadly shooting at Richmond Hill gas station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

Two Brooklyn men have been arrested for the fatal January shooting of a man at a gas station near the Van Wyck Expressway, police said.

Charles Williams, 26, and Moeleek Harrell, 25, have both been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the Jan. 20 incident, according to authorities.

The two allegedly approached Derek Quattlebaum, a 28-year-old Brooklyn resident, at about 3 p.m. that day at a BP gas station in Richmond Hill at the intersection of Van Wyck Expressway and Atlantic Avenue, and then fired at him.

Video footage released by police shows two suspects running into a blue Audi at the station and driving away.

Quattlebaum was shot in the head, torso and limbs, and taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died.

A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Ridgewood shooting victim walks into hospital, later dies of injuries


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Freshpond/Wikimedia Commons

Updated Tuesday, March 17, 10:30 a.m. 

Detectives continue to seek the suspect who fatally shot a 21-year-old Bushwick man on a Ridgewood street early Saturday morning.

Law enforcement sources said an unidentified perpetrator shot Eric Santiago of Himrod Street in front of a location on Palmetto Street between Cypress and St. Nicholas avenues, adjacent to the Arena Pool Hall, just before 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Santiago was transported by private means to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he walked into the emergency room seeking care, police said. He died at the hospital hours later while undergoing treatment.

Law enforcement sources said the unidentified shooter, who was last seen fleeing on foot westbound along Palmetto Street, was wearing dark clothing and a dark jacket with the letters “USA” on the back.

This marks the first homicide in the 104th Precinct this year. The last took place in March 2014, when a couple was murdered in their Ridgewood apartment.

The 104th Precinct Detective Squad is investigating the Santiago case.

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Philadelphia man arrested for killing aunt at her Queens Village home


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

HandcuffsHC0511_L_300_C_Y-624x413

Updated Sunday, March 15, 11:21 a.m. 

The NYPD charged a Philadelphia man with stabbing his aunt to death with an ice pick inside her Queens Village home last October, authorities said.

Richie Desauguste, 27, was booked on second-degree murder and weapons possession charges for the Oct. 24, 2014, murder of Rose Ragsdale, 66, of 105th Avenue, police announced early Saturday.

Ragsdale was asleep in her bedroom just before 3:20 a.m. that morning when she awoke and spotted a masked intruder, according to police.

When Ragsdale screamed, Desauguste allegedly pulled out an ice pick and stabbed her in the chest and arm. He fled the home but dropped the ice pick at the scene.

Ragsdale, a school bus matron, was pronounced dead at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Detectives located Desauguste inside an Applebee’s restaurant at 1710 Hempstead Tpke. in Elmont on Thursday, police sources said. He was subsequently charged with Ragsdale’s murder following questioning.

Police said a family dispute over money may have been the motive in Ragsdale’s killing.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Suspect arrested in stabbing death of Jackson Heights man


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have arrested a man in the murder of a 25-year-old Jackson Heights resident who was stabbed to death just outside his apartment late last year.

William Avila, 22, was apprehended at his East Elmhurst home on Friday, according to authorities, and charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the killing of Steven Shimabuku.

Shimabuku was only steps from his home on 90th Street, near 35th Avenue, at about 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 19, when Avila allegedly stabbed him in the torso. The two were involved in an ongoing dispute, police said.

He was able to make it back to his basement apartment, where his girlfriend called 911, according to the Daily News. Shimabuku was then taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Earlier this year, police released a video of a suspect in the stabbing, and in late February identified the man as Avila.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Brooklyn man arrested in deadly shooting of Rockaway teen


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated Sunday, March 8, 12:46 p.m. 

Police have apprehended an 18-year-old man for fatally shooting another teen in the Rockaways Friday afternoon.

A disagreement between the two 18-year-old acquaintances — Isaiah Lee and Darnell Green — turned violent about 12:50 p.m. at the Carleton Manor NYCHA development at 71-15 Beach Channel Dr. where Lee lives, authorities said.

Green reportedly showed up at Lee’s doorway and shot him in the face and chest.

Lee was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he died.

After announcing Green as a suspect in the murder earlier in the day, authorities said late Saturday that they had arrested Green, a Brooklyn resident.

Green was arraigned Sunday on charges of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to a spokeswoman for District Attorney Richard Brown. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child because an 11-year-old and a toddler were standing in the doorway as he was shooting at the victim.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Death of Kew Gardens Hills man ruled homicide


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

Updated Tuesday, March 3, 12:21 p.m

A Kew Gardens Hills man who was found dead in the basement of his home on Valentine’s Day was killed following a dispute and a suspect is facing possible charges in his death, authorities said.

Officers found 56-year-old Kevin Lopyan unconscious at about 8:40 a.m. on Feb. 14 at his 77th Avenue house, police said. He had trauma to his head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The medical examiner’s office determined on Feb. 28 that Lopyan’s death was a homicide.

Rahmatullah Popal, 21, who Lopyan had hired for doing odd jobs around his home, according to published reports, was caught with the victim’s credit card and a blank check bearing Lopyan’s name the same day he was found dead, court documents said.

Popal had come to Lopyan’s place to collect $200 that he owed him, according to a criminal complaint. Lopyan then handed him a blank check and threw him out of his house.

But Popal then returned to the home, surprising Lopyan by entering through the basement, and he screamed out “Robber! Robber!” when he saw Popal.

That’s when the two started to fight, with Popal kicking Lopyan in the stomach and Lopyan then punching him in the face, court records said. Popal then picked up a piece of a shed and used it to shove Lopyan away from him, causing him to hit his head on a door and fall to the floor.

Lopyan then allegedly had a seizure and Popal held him down with the piece of the shed until he stopped moving.

Popal was found that same day by police with Lopyan’s credit card and the blank check, and was charged with burglary, robbery and criminal possession of stolen property, court records said.

Upgraded charges against Popal could come at his next court appearance later this month, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Suspect identified in deadly December stabbing of Jackson Heights man


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

60-15 115 PCT HOMICIDE WILLIAM AVILA

Police have identified a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a 25-year-old man who was killed just steps from his Jackson Heights apartment last year.

Steven Shimabuku was murdered close to his 90th Street home, near 35th Avenue, at about 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 19, police said. He was able to make it back to his basement apartment, where his girlfriend called 911, according to the Daily News.

Shimabuku had been stabbed in the torso after getting into an argument on the street, police said.

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

Detectives have identified William Avila as a suspect in Shimabuku’s murder, just over a month after police released a video and photo of a suspect.

Avila is 22 years old, Hispanic, 5 feet 4 inches tall and 160 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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Man beaten to death in Long Island City


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/PropertyShark

Updated Saturday, Feb. 21, 11:21 p.m.

Police are investigating the murder of a 32-year-old man who was beaten to death just feet from the 108th Precinct in Long Island City early Friday morning.

Cops found the man, Jose Antonio Cocuyo-Malaga, on the corner of 50th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard at about 2:30 a.m., authorities said. He was unconscious and unresponsive, and had head trauma.

EMS took Cocuyo-Malaga to Bellevue Hospital, where he died.

According to published reports, Cocuyo-Malaga, a married father and chef from Astoria, was attacked during an argument after he tried to catch a ride from what he thought was a livery cab. Two men got out of the car and assaulted the victim before fleeing.

Witnesses then reportedly alerted police at the 108th Precinct, just down the street.

There have been no arrests.

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Man charged in three-day crime spree that began with Elmhurst murder


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

Updated Monday, Feb. 16, 12:28 p.m.

Authorities have nabbed a man in the deadly August stabbing of an Elmhurst resident and have also charged him with stabbing another man and punching a third person in the following days, officials said.

“The defendant is alleged to have gone on a wild attack spree — stabbing two men and punching a third — over a three-day period last August,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Jefferson Pachon-Pineda’s streak of violence began on Aug. 22 outside an Elmhurst apartment building at 83-45 Broadway, officials said. He is accused of stabbing one of the building residents, Mukesh Patel, 50, that afternoon.

The following day Pachon-Pineda came up to a 20-year-old man on an R subway train as the doors of the train car opened and punched the man in the face before fleeing, the district attorney’s office said.

His crime spree continued the next day when he approached a 54-year-old man on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst and stabbed him in the chest with a knife, according to Brown. Pachon-Pineda left part of the blade embedded in the victim’s liver, but the man managed to survive his injuries.

Officers from the 110th Precinct located and arrested Pachon-Pineda at a Corona barber shop hours after the Aug. 24 attack; he was incarcerated without bail.

Pachon-Pineda, a Middle Village resident, was arraigned on Jan. 21 on charges of second-degree murder, fourth-degree attempted murder, first- and third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Pachon-Pineda, who faces up to 50 years to life in prison if convicted, was held without bail.

-With additional reporting by Robert Pozarycki 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Man arrested in deadly shooting at Pomonok Houses


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

HandcuffsHC0511_L_300_C_Y-624x413

Updated 4:17 p.m.

Police have arrested a man for gunning down a Flushing resident in the doorway of an apartment at the Pomonok Houses early last month, authorities said.

Shyron Kearse, 34, is accused of fatally shooting Troy Grant at the New York City Housing Authority complex on Jan. 2 in what was the first Queens homicide of 2015.

Cops found Grant, 30, with a gunshot wound to the head inside his home at the Pomonok Houses on 71st Avenue at about 2:30 a.m., cops said.

That morning, Grant heard a knock on the door and the doorbell ring, according to the district attorney’s office. When he answered, Kearse, an acquaintance, allegedly shot him in the head and shoulder before fleeing. Grant was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kearse, a resident of another Pomonok Houses building, has been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, authorities said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Queens man pleads guilty in city’s first murder of 2011


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Gavel 2

Four years ago a New Year’s Eve party in South Richmond Hill that started as a celebration ended up deadly for one man after he tried to break up a fight and escort a woman to her car.

On Tuesday, Carie Dixon, 30, of Jamaica, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of that man, Dwayne Haughton, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Haughton, then a 29-year-old Jamaica resident, had just left a New Year’s Eve bash at a South Richmond Hill banquet hall on Jan. 1, 2011, when a group of women, including Dixon’s current and former girlfriends, got into an argument, according to Brown.

When the other women started to pelt the ex-girlfriend with snowballs, Haughton intervened and offered to escort her to her car.

As they walked toward the vehicle, another man then approached them, punched the woman in the face, and both she and Haughton fell to the ground, the district attorney said. Dixon then took out a gun and fired several shots, striking Haughton in the torso and right thigh. He later died at a local hospital.

Haughton’s death was the city’s first murder of 2011.

At his guilty plea, the judge indicated that Dixon would be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“A celebration of the New Year turned deadly when the defendant gunned down a man who was doing nothing more than trying to stop an attack on a woman,” Brown said. “This was a senseless act of violence for which the defendant will now be locked behind bars for a lengthy period of time.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

Police investigating deadly Richmond Hill shooting


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

PoliceCarLightsHC0708_L_300_C_Y-624x414

A 28-year-old man died after he was shot several times in Richmond Hill Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Derek Quattlebaum, of Brooklyn, was found at the Van Wyck Expressway and Atlantic Avenue about 3 p.m. with gunshot wounds to his head, torso and limbs, cops said. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, but did not survive.

There have been no arrests.

RECOMMENDED STORIES