Woman Who Killed Her Alleged Rapist Must Be Granted New Parole Hearing, Judge Rules

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Taconic Correctional Facility, where Pulinario is now serving her time.
Seventeen years after a woman murdered her alleged rapist, a State Supreme Court judge has issued a rare decision, ordering a parole board that declined to set her free to reconsider. The current case stems from a September night in 1995, when 21-year-old Imagio Santana was found shot to death on a street corner in Brentwood, Long Island. Santana carried no ID; he was identified by his fingerprints and by the tattoo of the word "Dominican" he had on his right arm.

The police discovered heroin on Santana's body, and learned he'd been arrested the previous month for drug possession. Lieutenant John Gierasch, who headed the Suffolk County Homicide Squad, said that the killing "had the markings of a drug hit," according to a New York Daily News account from the time.

But on October 18, a month after the murder, police arrested a 21-year-old woman with no criminal record, Keila Pulinario. She told police that she had shot Santana, with whom she had an on-and-off relationship for the past five years. The reason, she said, was that several days earlier, Santana had raped her in his car. When she confronted him about it, he laughed and threatened to rape her again.

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LGBT Group Calls for Attorney's Apology After He Argues Transgender Murder Victim Wasn't a "Certain Class" of Person

Image via Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar
On March 28, 2010, Rasheen Everett murdered Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a 29-year-old transgender woman he'd met online. After Everett strangled Gonzalez-Andujar in her Glendale, Queens, apartment, he poured bleach on her body and ransacked her home, stealing her camera, keys, laptop, coat, and cell phone, and, according to one report, destroying all of her Marilyn Monroe photos. The neighbors could hear screaming and banging, yet no one came to Gonzalez-Andujar's aid. Everett left the apartment 18 hours later, carrying Gonzalez-Andujar's stolen property, and hopped a bus to Las Vegas. Her family discovered her body three days later.

Everett was arrested in Las Vegas a month later and brought back to New York to stand trial. Now 32, he was convicted last month of second-degree murder, second-degree burglary, and tampering with physical evidence. On December 5, before a Queens judge sentenced Everett to 29 years to life in prison, his attorney, John Scarpa, argued that his clients should escape serious prison time, given the low social status of the person he killed.

"Who is the victim in this case?" Scarpa asked the jury, according to the New York Post. "Is the victim a person in the higher end of the community?"

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Queens Nursing Home Resident Charged With Beating 71-Year-Old Roommate to Death With Part of a Wheelchair

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A 66-year-old Queens nursing home resident was charged with murder Friday morning, after allegedly beating his roommate to death with a wheelchair leg rest during an argument over the curtain divider between their beds. The alleged murderer wanted the curtain closed; the victim wanted it to stay open.

According to a press release sent out Friday by Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown's office, Thomas Yarnavick was a resident of the Beacon Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Rockaway Park. He was found just after 1 a.m. on Wednesday, October 30, standing next to 71-year-old Jailall Singh's bed, covered in blood, holding an equally bloody metal wheelchair leg rest. (The D.A.'s office does not specify who discovered the two men.) Singh, who was lying face-up, was also bloodied.

Yarnavick allegedly threw the leg rest into a hamper, where it was later recovered. The DA's office says he told homicide detectives, "I just killed him." According to the New York Times, Singh was still alive when the two men were discovered. He was taken to St. John's Episcopal Hospital, where he died a short while later.

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Man Arrested for Killing His Gay Lover in Queens Hotel

Categories: Murder

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Just before midnight last Saturday night, police responded to a call from the Crown Motor Inn, in the Queens neighborhood of Elmhurst. Joseph Benzinger, a 54-year-old white male from Middle Village, New York, was on the floor of a hotel room. A shirt was wrapped around his neck. He was dead.

Early today, Lleuyel Garcia, a 23-year-old Hispanic male from Inwood, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and one count of robbery. According to the New York Daily News, Garcia allegedly took Benzinger's wallet and cell phone from the scene of the crime.

Benzinger and Garcia were lovers, authorities are saying, and had a sexual relationship prior to the 54-year-old's death.

Benzinger was the third gay man found strangled to death since January 26. The two previous murders are unsolved. Authorities, however, tell the Voice that the three murders are unrelated.

Even A Blizzard Didn't Stop A Ton Of Violence From Happening This Weekend

Nemo was able to shut down power, the Long Island Expressway and most of the news over the weekend. But, somehow, it apparently couldn't prevent the unfortunate plague of crime in New York City.

The first shooting victim came Friday night during the apex of the snowstorm. At a baby shower up on East 165th Street, a 20-year-old man was fatally shot just after midnight as the blizzard began to weather down on the City. Also, the man's cousin was shot but is currently in critical condition. There's video surveillance that shows the attackers but the police told the New York Post that no one has been charged yet with the shootings.

The violence continued into Saturday night.

At around 8:50pm, a 19-year-old man was found with two fatal gun wounds in his back at a bodega in Brooklyn. Once again, the cops are still unsure what happened while no arrests have been made. And then three hours later, a 54-year-old man was found dead at a motel in Elmhurst. The officials on the scene determined it was homicide and could be the result of a strangling.

And we haven't even mentioned the other shootings that went down this weekend yet.

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NYPD Releases Security Video, Photo Shows Brandon Lincoln Woodard Killer Moments Before Midtown "Hit"

Moments before fatally shooting California tourist Brandon Lincoln Woodard in midtown yesterday, the alleged killer exits a grey sedan, flips up the hood on his sweatshirt and calmly walks toward his victim, according to a video released by the NYPD this morning.

In a security camera photo still also released this morning, the killer is seen standing behind the left ear of the victim, and appears to be drawing a gun from a pocket in his sweatshirt.

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Post-Sandy Murder in the Far Rockaways

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The Far Rockaways, long ignored by many New Yorkers, was one of the areas most devastated by last month's Hurricane Sandy, which swept through the neighborhood flooding the streets, cutting power, and ending lives. The destruction is so complete that some reports estimate years before the Rockaways recovers. Most residents are still without power and heat. Although much of the narrative has been about the lack of crime in the boroughs following Sandy, wary Rockaway citizens have taken to arming themselves with knives, bats, guns and even bows and arrows for protection.

Yesterday morning around 9:30 a.m., NYPD heard a report of a body lying on the boardwalk at Beach 13 Street in the 101st precinct. When officers examined, they found an unidentified man. He'd been shot twice in the head. Emergency responders pronounced him dead at the scene.

As of this post, authorities told the Voice they have no further information about the apparent murder. Anyone with any knowledge, though, should call the anonymous Crimestoppers line at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Red Bulls Soccer Coach Slashed to Death near Union Square, Leaves Police Scratching Heads

Categories: Crime, Murder

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New York Red Bulls
Michael Jones
Early Sunday morning around 4:30 a.m., NYPD responded to a call of a young, white male who had been assaulted in front of 25 West 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. When cops arrived on the scene, they found the victim was Michael Jones, a 25-year-old from West Harrison, a suburb in Westchester County, New York. He worked as a youth coach for the New York Red Bulls.

Jones was lying in a pool of his own blood. His throat was cut, his stomach was slashed open, and his left ear was severed from his head. Bleeding out, Jones was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Though police say it's still early in the investigation, authorities told the Village Voice that there is no evidence supporting that the victim was robbed. Police didn't find anything taken from Jones, and his cell phone was found on the street nearby.

"There's nothing point to a robbery at this point, but obviously [Jones] ain't telling us," an officer told us early Monday morning.

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Rondell "Spyder" Pinkerton Charged With Second-Degree Murder In Shooting Death Of 4-Year-Old

Categories: Crime, Murder
Lloyd Morgan was killed by a stray bullet while watching a charity basketball game in the Bronx last week.
The Bronx District Attorney's Office announced this afternoon that Rondell "Spyder" Pinkerton has been formally charged with murder in the shooting death of a 4-year-old boy.

In addition to the second-degree murder charge, Pinkerton also has been charged with one count  of first-degree assault, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon for the July 22, gun battle that claimed the life of 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan.

Pinkerton, 17, admitted to police last week that he fired shots during a charity basketball tournament at the Forest Houses project in Morrisania, one of which is suspected to have hit Morgan, killing the boy.

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Occupy Wall Street Chained To 2004 Murder Of Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox
The Occupy Wall Street movement has been linked to the 2004 murder of a 21-year-old Julliard student -- and that link is in a chain occupiers used to wreak havoc at a Brooklyn subway station earlier this year.

Police have linked DNA recovered from a chain occupiers used to hold open a gate at the Beverly Road subway station in East Flatbush in March to DNA recovered from a CD player found near the murder scene of Sarah Fox, an aspiring actress who was found murdered in Inwood Park in May of 2004.

Just because DNA found at the crime scene also was found on the chain, it doesn't necessarily mean the killer is an occupier. While it could be, the DNA also could belong to anyone who passed by the open gate and made contact with the chain.

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