Archive for the tag 'murders'

Borgella, left, and Evans, right.

Borgella, left, and Evans, right.

Convicted murderer Woody Borgella has been sentenced to 15-years-to-life in prison for the 2011 shooting death of his live-in girlfriend in their Midwood apartment.

A jury convicted Borgella, 31, earlier in March for shooting Lora Ann Evans in the chest, killing her. Borgella and Evans, a former porn actress turned self-help writer, had a short and tumultuous relationship that came to a head on September 19, 2011, when Borgella ended a financial dispute with gunfire.

“This defendant killed a woman in cold blood and casually walked away without looking back. Now that he will be spending the next 15- years or more behind bars, walking away from what he did will not be an option,” said District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, in a statement.

Borgella was convicted for murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon.

According to the district attorney, Borgella and Evans were in a heated argument. Evans was on the bed, armed with a knife, struggling to keep Borgella at bay. A roommate heard the commotion and entered the room to break up the fight when Borgella drew a gun and shot Evans once in the chest, killing her.

Borgella fled on foot and ditched the gun behind a neighboring building. He remained on the run for two days before turning himself in to the 70th Precinct.

The convicted killer told the jury that he never intended to kill Evans, and that he was defending himself from his knife-wielding beau.

“I was just scared for my life,” he said while on the stand, according to a report by Brooklyn News Service.

The outlet reported that Borgella met Evans in June 2011, when Evans was unemployed and homeless. He invited her to move into the 1506 Ocean Avenue apartment he shared with two childhood friends.

Before moving to Brooklyn, Evans worked in the adult film industry under the names Lori Alexia and Penna Piererra. She quit the industry in 2009 to pursue a music career, and also launched a self-help website.

After the shooting, cops told reporters that Borgella had been named as the attacker on three separate domestic violence reports, although none related to Evans. He also had five prior arrests for drug possession, robbery, assault and theft.

Feliciano and Huerto (Source: Facebook)

Feliciano and Huerta (Source: Facebook)

Police say that 86-year-old Heriberto Pagan of East 15th Street in Midwood shot his grandson, Michael Feliciano, 47, in the face, put a bullet in the head of his grandson’s fiancee, Claritle Huerta, 28, and then got in his car and drove off. Nearby, Pagan stepped out of the car and turned the gun on himself, committing suicide.

The incident happened at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Friday in Rosebank, Staten Island.

Feliciano, the only survivor, was listed in critical condition after the incident, but granted the Daily News an interview over the weekend.

Feliciano, tears in his eyes and a bandage over his right cheek, spoke to Huerta on the phone minutes before all hell broke loose. She told him that Pagan was at the house on Virginia Ave. in Rosebank.

She called me and told me that he was there and he wanted to talk to me,” Feliciano told The News in an exclusive interview. “I said, ‘I just got off the bus. I’ll be right there. I love you.’”

… “She gave me the love that I’m never going to get back from anybody,” he said.

They met three years ago in rehab. He was first attracted to her smile.

“That smile just melted me,” he said. “She was the perfect woman for me.”

The couple’s 4-month-old son was in the home where his mother was killed. He wasn’t injured.

Authorities believe the root of the incident was the slow pace of eviction proceedings. The home Feliciano and his fiancee lived in was owned by his mother, Pagan’s daughter. Pagan believed the couple was taking advantage of her, and he and other family members struggled to give them the boot.

But just hours before the shooting, a judge had signed off on a warrant to evict Feliciano and his fiancee, reports SILive.

Court records show that Pagan’s daughter, Mildred Feliciano, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and was staying with relatives in Puerto Rico at the time of Friday’s shooting, filed a holdover petition to evict her son, Michael, 47, and his 28-year-old fiancee on Aug. 21, 2013. The parties appeared in Staten Island Civil Court on Sept. 12, 2013, and entered into an agreement that Feliciano and Ms. Huerta would be out of the house by the end of the year.

On Christmas Eve, Michael Feliciano, citing the loss of his job and the birth of his son, Uriel, one month earlier, applied for and was granted an extension that would allow him and his fiancee to remain in the house until Jan. 25, records show. But when Jan. 25 rolled around, Feliciano and Ms. Huerta were still living in the house. Feliciano applied for another extension on Jan. 30, but was denied because the request was deemed “premature,” since a marshal had not yet been issued a warrant of eviction, a court clerk said.

… The warrant was ultimately properly requested and reviewed on March 27, the day before the shooting, and signed by Judge Kimberley Moser on the day of the shooting.

It was officially issued to New York City marshall Steven Powell on Monday, with its execution stayed through April 2.

[Pagan's attorney on the eviction] Tribiano said eviction petitioners are typically notified shortly after a warrant is issued, but he couldn’t be sure whether Heriberto Pagan knew the judge had signed off on the warrant before he confronted his grandson and his grandson’s fiancee on Friday.

Tribiano said that he did not know why Pagan wanted the couple out, but noted that they did not have a lease.

News 12 reports that Pagan lived in the Midwood home for more than 30 years.

 The woman who has lived with him for many years says he was friendly and a great man, but did have some issues with his grandson. She says Pagan told her that he was going to Staten Island, and never came back.

Neighbors of Pagan’s grandson say he was friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand.

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Avenue I and East 16th Street, the scene of the shooting. (Source: Google Maps)

A 23-year-old Canarsie man was killed and another man seriously injured in what appears to be a drive-by shooting in Midwood early Saturday morning.

At approximately 4:00 a.m. the two victims were in a 2011 Toyota Camry at Avenue I and East 16th Street when a gunman opened fire.

The Daily News reports:

“I was riding my bike when I heard, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’ ” said a 45-year-old area resident. “It was so loud I thought they were shooting at me at first.”

[Gerard] Grant, who was driving, was shot four times in the chest and died, slumped over the steering wheel, police said. His friend suffered two wounds to the left side of the head and shoulder and was rushed to Kings County Hospital.

Grant’s family said they didn’t know about the shooting until police called.

“For us it’s impossible to say what could have gotten (Grant) involved in this because he’s a pretty good kid,” said his uncle Wallace Grant, 65. “He’s not a gang member of any type.”

The Yeshiva World News has a little more speculation from cops at the scene:

Sources tell YWN that the murder is an isolated incident, and the victims as well as the perpetrators are not from the area. It appears the victims were followed for quite some time before they were shot. It’s possible that the perpetrators shot the victims on that particular street, after the victims’ vehicle entered the block – which is a dead-end, with no way for them to exit.

Shawn White was found shot to death on Thursday in a building at West 27th Street and Surf Avenue. (Source: Google Maps)

Shawn White was found shot to death on Thursday in a building at West 27th Street and Surf Avenue. (Source: Google Maps)

Police say they have arrested Johnny Velez Garcia, who they believe is the deadly gunman responsible for one of two fatal shootings in Coney Island last week.

Garcia is accused of shooting and killing Shawn White in the fourth-floor stairwell of the Coney Island high-rise building at West 27th Street and Surf Avenue, where the victim lived.

White, 25, was found with several gunshots to the head, torso and leg at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 26. According to News 12, police say White was killed by his friend over a dispute regarding a girl.

It was the second deadly shooting in as many days, with 17-year-old Yaquin English killed in front of his home in the Gravesend Houses.

The shootings spurred community members to call a meeting to discuss gun violence in the neighborhood, where they discussed calling for security cameras and greater police presence.

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Mathylde Frontus led the meeting at the Urban Neighborhood Services

by Steven Volynets

Following the second fatal shooting in as many days, Coney Island residents and local leaders met at the Urban Neighborhood Services (UNS) office (1718 Mermaid Avenue) on Friday to voice concern over the growing number of gun deaths in the area.

On Christmas Eve, 17-year-old Yaquin English was shot to death in front of his home in the Gravesend Houses at 3144 Bay View Avenue. Just two days later, a man was shot dead on Thursday inside a Coney Island high-rise building on West 27th Street and Surf Avenue.

Shawn White, 25, was found on the fourth floor stairwell with several gunshot wounds to the head, torso and leg at approximately 9:30 p.m. First responders pronounced the victim dead on arrival, according to the NYPD.

Shawn White was found shot to death on Thursday in a building at West 27th Street and Surf Avenue. (Source: Google Maps)

Shawn White was found shot to death on Thursday in a building at West 27th Street and Surf Avenue. (Source: Google Maps)

The spate of deadly shootings has left community members grappling for an effective response to the violence, which UNS noted seemed concentrated in public housing.

Community members, including parents, a teacher and local clergy, discussed drafting a letter to local officials calling for more cameras and greater police presence throughout Coney Island neighborhoods.

“What can we ask of our State Senator Diane Savino? What can we ask of our Congressman Hakeem Jeffries?” said UNS Director Mathylde Frontus, who organized the event. Congressman Jeffries’s representative Lee Church and Victoria Lynch, president of Coney Island Site 8 Residents Association, attended the meeting.

Gravesend Houses, where Yaquin English was shot to death on Christmas Eve (Source: Google Maps)

Also present, Rhonda Brown Moore, board member of Man Up, a Brownsville-based neighborhood improvement organization, said Coney Island could benefit from one of their anti-violence programs.

“We have men in vans patrolling the neighborhood in the middle of the night, talking to some of the people doing the shootings,” Moore said.

Frontus also stressed greater involvement of local business owners and corporate interests.

“A lot of money is hovering over us, but nothing is trickling down to the community,” she said. That money, she added, could fund programs like Man Up, as well as art, music and sports activities for Coney Island youth.

Gravesend Houses (Source: Google Maps)

Gravesend Houses (Source: Google Maps)

A 17-year-old was shot dead across the street from a Coney Island playground on Christmas Eve.

Police responded to a 911 call at approximately 7:00 p.m. to find a male shot on Bay View Avenue, near the corner of Neptune Avenue.

The victim, 17 year-old Yaquin English, had multiple gunshot wounds to the leg and torso and was pronounced dead on the scene, according to the NYPD. No arrests have yet been made.

English was gunned down in front of the Gravesend Community Center building of the Gravesend Houses at 3144 Bay View Avenue, across the street from the Leon S. Kaiser Playground in Coney Island.  It is the seventh murder of 2013 in the 60th Precinct, which includes Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Gravesend.

– Steven Volynets

The aftermath of the 2011 shooting, which happened in front of Tatiana’s Restaurant on the Brighton Beach boardwalk.

Iloune Driver, one of two suspected gunmen behind the 2011 Brighton Beach boardwalk shooting that left 16-year-old Tysha Jones dead, has been found guilty and faces 125 years to life behind bars.

Tysha Jones was a junior at Norman Thomas High School and lived in a Harlem apartment with her mother, Cynthia, her brother and sister, according to friends.

Tysha Jones (via Twitter)

Driver, 21, was convicted yesterday for his role in the June 9, 2011, melee, which broke out after two rival gangbangers from the Bloods and Crips exchanged heated words, then opened fire on a boardwalk crowded with teens and beachgoers on the hottest day of the year.

Driver is a former Crips member, and the New York Post reports that he has nine prior busts for gun, drug and robbery charges. He has been convicted on four counts of assault in addition to the second-degree murder charge. Sentencing will take place next month, and he will face 25 years to life for the count of murder, and 25 years for each assault.

None of the five people struck by bullets were believed to be involved in the incident.

“My baby can rest in peace now,” Tysha Jones’ 51-year-old mother, Cynthia, told the Post.

During the trial, Driver’s attorney argued that video  filmed in the immediate aftermath of the shooting provides evidence that flies in the face of the witnesses’ statements that Driver fired from the beach. The video, he said, shows him on the boardwalk, scrambling for cover.

The jury disagreed.

Nikolia Rakossi

Nikolai Rakossi

Larisa and Tatyana Prikhodko.

Russian authorities will not be deporting Nikolai Rakossi to the Unites States to stand trial for the 2011 slayings of Larisa Prikhodko and her mother, Tatyana, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn district attorney confirmed to Sheepshead Bites.

Still, Rakossi will face trial in Russia, using evidence provided by the district attorney’s office.

“Nikolai Rakossi was found in Russia.  Based on evidence from our office and the NYPD, he is being detained for questioning for the double homicide,” a spokesperson for District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

The suspect, believed to have stabbed the mother and daughter to death in their apartment at 2299 East 13th Street, before fleeing back to his mother country, was recently detained by Russian authorities after more than two years on the lam. Rakossi is a Russian citizen, and Russian law forbids citizens from being extradited.

“Because Rakossi is a Russian citizen, Russia has jurisdiction over the case and he will not be extradited,” the spokesperson said. “[The district attorney] will continue to work very closely with Russian authorities to see that he is brought to justice.”

Rakossi denies involvement in the death of the Prikhodkos, but Russian authorities have decided to keep him behind bars until he stands trial.

The New York Post reports:

He denied the accusation but was ordered to be held in custody by judge Alexandra Bezdetnova in Sovietski Court, Tula.

A source said: “He was on the run for two and a half years, and there was a risk he could flee again to Ukraine.”

Court spokeswoman Olga Dyachuk: “The court has taken into attention that Rakossi is accused of a grave crime which can result in him being jailed for 20 years, or for life, and concluded that there is every reason to believe that the charged person might try and escape investigation.

“The court therefore satisfied the investigator’s petition and Rakossi will spend two months in Tula detention center number 1.”

Nikolia Rakossi

Nikolai Rakossi

Nikolai Rakossi, the man believed to have brutally stabbed to death a mother and daughter in their East 13th Street apartment before fleeing to Russia, has been apprehended by Russian authorities after more than two years on the lam.

Larisa and Tatyana Prikhodko.

RIA Novosti, a government operated Russian news agency based in Moscow, is reporting that Russian police took Rakossi into custody yesterday. Rakossi is identified as a “resident of Novomoskovsk, a town in the Tula province, south of Moscow.” The report indicates that Russian authorities have been on the hunt for Rakossi since U.S. investigators turned over materials to Russian prosecutors after it was believed that Rakossi fled back to his native country.

Rakossi, a handyman living legally in the U.S.,  is the primary suspect in the stabbing deaths of 27-year-old Larisa Prikhodko and her mother, Tatyana Prikhodko, 56, who was also his girlfriend.

Their bodies were discovered with multiple stab wounds to the face and torso late at night on April 17, 2011, in their apartment at 2299 East 13th Street, off of Gravesend Neck Road. Police were following up on a report that Larisa had gone missing after she didn’t show to pick up her 2-year-old son from her father’s home. The father, Felix Zeltser, filed the report at the 61st Precinct, and police stumbled across the double homicide when they visited her apartment.

2299 East 13th Street, the building where the murders took place (Photo by Paypaul)

Larisa worked in the maternity ward at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and her mother was a nurse at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn. The 2-year-old son remains in Zeltser’s custody.

As authorities pieced together the crime scene, they came to believe that Rakossi, the mother’s boyfriend, was the murderer, and soon discovered that he had boarded a flight back to Russia from John F. Kennedy airport.

Rakossi reportedly called his sister, Lydia, from the Brooklyn apartment the day the bodies were found, and the evening of which he boarded the flight.

“He was in tears,” Lydia, who lives in Russia, said of the phone call. ”He told me: ‘Please don’t keep any offense in your heart about me. Forgive me. You will never see me again.’”

Lydia believed he would commit suicide.

”Knowing him, I don’t think he would be able to live with himself and carry the burden of having killed the person he loved more than himself, and her daughter,” she told reporters after the call.

The NYPD began working with the U.S. State Department and Russian officials to apprehend Rakossi, although investigators at the time seemed skeptical of success.

Family and friends of the victims operate a Facebook page in their memory.

Beyond the report from the Russian state media agency, we have not yet been able to confirm the arrest. It is also not yet clear if Rakossi will be prosecuted in Russia or the United States. We have contacted the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and the NYPD for more information.

The aftermath of the 2011 shooting, which happened in front of Tatiana’s Restaurant on the Brighton Beach boardwalk.

The attorney for 21-year-old Iloune Driver, charged with opening fire on the Brighton Beach boardwalk in 2011, leading to the death of a 16-year-old girl and leaving four others wounded, says that video taken moments after the shooting proves his client’s innocence.

The June 9, 2011, shooting happened as a gunman opened fire on the boardwalk crowded with teens and beachgoers, leaving 16-year-old Tysha Jones, and innocent bystander, dead. Four others were also injured, including a patron of Tatiana Restaurant.

Tysha Jones was a junior at Norman Thomas High School and lived in a Harlem apartment with her mother, Cynthia, her brother and sister, according to friends.

Tysha Jones (Source: Twitter)

The incident is believed to have been sparked when two groups of rival gang members from the Bloods and the Crips exchanged heated words, leading one to draw on the others and open fire.

“That’s what it was all about — gang stupidity,” prosecutor Janet Gleeson told the Daily News.

None of the five struck by wayward bullets were believed to be involved in the incident.

Police apprehended Driver at the nearby subway station. He wasn’t initially charged, according to the News, and named other suspects. A witness later later identified Driver as the shooter in a phone tip to police, leading to charges including second-degree murder.

But according to Driver’s defense attorney, Mario Romano, video filmed in the immediate aftermath of the shooting provides evidence that flies in the face of the witnesses’ statements that Driver fired from the beach. The video, he said, shows him on the boardwalk, scrambling for cover.

Just hours after the shooting, cell phone video from numerous sources began appearing online that captured that aftermath.

You can see more video here and here.

According to the Daily News, there is no ballistic evidence or weapon connecting Driver to the shooting. They note that he is an admitted Crip with the words “True Blue” tattooed on his chest.

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