Brooklyn man arrested in Cambria Hts murder

Detective Andrew…

By Adam Kramer

Two detectives from the 105th Precinct last week arrested a suspect in the May 2000 murder of a 33-year-old Brooklyn man and the shooting of his roommate in Cambria Heights in a robbery involving thousands of dollars of drug money.

Detective Andrew Copertino and his partner Detective Patrick Dolan followed up on an anonymous tip and arrested Hugh Christie, 27, of 1018 Park Place in Brooklyn last Thursday, police said.

Christie confessed to shooting the two victims with a 9mm handgun while trying to steal money from them after being interrogated by the police, said Mary de Boubon, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney.

She said Christie was charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as robbery, assault and weapons possession. He could face the death penalty if convicted of the murder, she said.

Marcus Morris, 33, and Dwight Ricketts, 30, were shot May 13 at 110th Avenue and 225th Street in Cambria Heights at 11:20 p.m., said Detective Madelyn Galindo, a Police Department spokeswoman. She said Morris was shot in the head and died at the scene, while Ricketts was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica in serious condition.

Ricketts is now paralyzed, de Bourbon said.

According to a police source, the three men — all from Brooklyn — were alleged drug mules who had driven to Queens from Brooklyn in a brown van to buy drugs. He said Christie intended to rob his partners and steal the drug money, which totaled somewhere between $20,000 and $60,000.

The district attorney has 120 days from the day Christie is indicted to decide whether or not to seek the death penalty, de Bourbon said. A date had not been set for the indictment.

A police source who asked not to be identified said Christie directed the two other men through Queens streets before he allegedly pulled out his gun and shot Morris, who was the driver, in the head. The officer said Christie then allegedly shot Ricketts 10 times, leaving him paralyzed.

The source said Christie allegedly took the money for the drug purchases and fled. Christie had been on the run until he was caught in the confines of the 103rd Precinct, police said.

An anonymous tip led the 105th Precinct detectives to a house in southeast Queens, where Christie was spotted several times entering and leaving, the police source said.

He said the detectives set up surveillance for about a month before they spotted a man leaving the residence who matched Christie’s description.

Christie was stopped by the detectives and brought to the precinct to be questioned. The police source said Christie had the same tattoo as the man described as being the shooter.

The 105th Precinct covers the area stretching from New Hyde Park to Queens Village and from Glen Oaks to Cambria Heights as well as the neighborhoods of Bellerose, Laurelton and parts of St. Albans.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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