By Cynthia Koons
Vadim Traut, 54, who worked as a mechanical engineer for a food-processing plant in Maspeth, was found guilty last month of second degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
The charges stemmed from the September 2002 shooting death of a homeless man, Kevin Monroe, 46, who lived in a small shanty town near Powell's Cove waterfront, according to the district attorney.
“The defendant has been held accountable for a senseless crime,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “I hope that the family of Mr. Monroe finds some solace in knowing that the defendant will be punished by the long prison sentence he must serve.”
Traut was spotted by two witnesses standing over Monroe with a 12-gauge shotgun pointed at his head, the district attorney's office said. Traut ordered one of the onlookers to help dispose of Monroe's body and when the witness refused, Traut struck him in the head with his gun, the district attorney's office said
Traut and Monroe were believed to be arguing over one of the women who lived in the colony, according to a police source.
Based on the autopsy results, Monroe was killed by one gunshot to the back, the DA said. Traut was found two hours after the shooting.