By Courtney Dentch
A South Jamaica carpenter was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison last week for beating one man to death with a hammer and paralyzing another in a Halloween attack three years ago, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Rudolph Hawthorne , 48, of 150-29 Foch Blvd. received the jail time in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens last Thursday for killing Kelvin Armstead, 36, and attacking Milton Tennesse, 37, in their South Jamaica home in October 2000, Brown said in a statement.
Hawthorne was convicted after a trial for attacking Armstead and Tennesse with a hammer, striking Armstead more than 10 times and Tennesse twice, the DA said.
“The defendant has been sentenced for a vicious and brutal crime that took the life of one victim and shattered the life of a second victim who remains paralyzed, brain damaged and psychologically and emotionally scarred,” Brown said. “Today's sentence assures that the defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
Hawthorne was found guilty of murder and assault charges after a 2 1/2 week trial in May, Brown said. A jury of eight women and four men returned the guilty verdict after 10 hours of deliberation, Brown said.
According to trial testimony, Hawthorne attacked Armstead and Tennesse between 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2000 inside their home at 143-20 Lakewood Ave. in South Jamaica, Brown said. It was unclear how Hawthorne got into the house.
Hawthorne, who worked as a carpenter, used a hammer to bludgeon Armstead to death, hitting him more than 10 times in the head, killing him, Brown said. Tennesse was struck twice in the head, leaving him with brain damage, loss of speaking abilities and memory, and permanent paralysis on the right side of his body, Brown said.
Hawthorne fled the scene, but was later arrested by detectives from the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, which investigated the case.
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.