Tag Archives: Queens District Attorney’s Office

Star of Queens: Suzanne Bettis, assistant district attorney, Iraq veteran


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

star of queens

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

BACKGROUND: Suzanne Bettis was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to the U.S. in ’97. She joined the Marine Corps when she was 17, because she wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself. She did two tours in Iraq as part of the unit that searched for and found troops who died on duty, processed their effects and sent them home to their families. She left the Marines in 2010, studied law at the New York Law School and now works in the office of Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. Since August, she has made Woodhaven her home.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: When she was a law school student, she set up an association that helped veterans and their dependents navigate the red tape of the Veterans Affairs department and get access to the benefits available to them. Now she is involved with the community falling under the 103rd Precinct. Every month, she attends the community council meeting to work closely with the community and the cops and reduce instances of gangs and gun violence. This year, she’ll be participating in the Veterans’ Day Parade.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “I feel like I am not done yet,” said Bettis. “I could go to law school because of the benefits from Veterans Affairs. That’s why when I was at school I focused on how veterans and their dependents can maximize the VA benefits. There are lots of veterans coming home now, and they should be able to use them to the best advantage. Also, many veterans can lose their benefits if they are convicted of criminal charges. At the DA’s office, we try to give them a second chance.” If they reform, for example, the charges against them are dismissed.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Getting acclimatized to being home,” said Bettis. “Military people are closed up. I am learning to interact with more people, ease myself year by year to trust people and hope they don’t look at me as a threat. There are so many misconceptions about why people join the military. We are all not killers. I just want to be understood. In the military, we don’t have the luxury of being fallible. Turning that off when you get home is tough.”

INSPIRATION: “I have a lot of people to thank,” said Bettis, “but especially those men and women we had to send back home in boxes. At 18, 19, 20, they are willing to sacrifice their lives for people they’ll never meet. Everyone I processed, searched for, dug out of still burning Humvees, are special people to put themselves in that position, knowing you’ll never get the opportunity to go to school, get married, have a family life. Their story has to live on. Every day I come to work, interact with someone, this is the community they were protecting. And I have to continue doing that.”

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Arrest in Queens shooting of NFL player’s brother


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Ogletree_Kevin_2dp_11.18.06w-378x405

A man has been arrested for the attempted murder of the older brother of Kevin Ogletree, a Queens native who currently plays for the Dallas Cowboys, said the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Lonnie Miller was arrested on Sunday for shooting and seriously injuring Calvin Ogletree in the head in St. Albans on January 6.

Miller, who was charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, was arraigned yesterday and held without bail, according to the DA’s office.

His next court appearance is October 1.

JFK workers busted in mini liquor theft ring


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Queens DA's Office

Eighteen former and current JFK workers were arrested in connection with the theft of more than 100,000 mini liquor bottles at the airport over the last five months, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

The airport employees also stole duty-free items, including cigarette cartons, perfume and larger bottles of booze. In total, the retail value of the lifted goods is estimated at $750,000.

Three of the workers arrested were security guards and 15 were truck drivers for LSG Sky Chefs, the food and beverage subsidiary for American Airlines. Instead of transporting unsold mini liquor bottles from planes to a storage facility in the airport, they would steal them.

Earlier this year, the Port Authority Inspector General’s Office learned that Sky Chefs employees might be stealing liquor at JFK, and launched a joint uncover investigation with the District Attorney’s Airport Investigations Unit, leading to today’s arrests.

Queens babysitter gets 11 years in shaken baby death


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Corona babysitter has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for shaking a baby to death in December 2010, said the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

According to the DA’s office, on December 29, Ana Delarosa, 28, was babysitting the three-month old of a family friend in Queens. When the baby woke up and started crying, she tried to calm the child. But when it didn’t work, she violently shook him, exclaiming, “What is wrong with you? Why are you crying?”

The child went limp, and was rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest and later died. Autopsy results showed that he had brain damage and other signs that he had been shaken to death.

In June of this year, Delarosa pled guilty to one count of second-degree manslaughter and one count of first-degree assault in the child’s death. She also waived her right to an appeal and will be deported to her native Mexico after she serves her time in jail.