St. Albans couple shot inside apt. – QNS.com

St. Albans couple shot inside apt.

By Michael Morton

At the time of the killings on April 21, three of the four robbery suspects had been arrested and were awaiting their next court date, the DA said.

After the shootings, officers found what they described as a small amount of marijuana at the victims' apartment at 200-16 116th Ave., but police declined to comment on any links in the murder case to drugs or the earlier robbery.

As of Tuesday, no arrests had been made, and police urged those with information to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Myles and Wheeler were killed at about 12:45 a.m., police said. At a news conference later in the day at the 113th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Kathleen Kearns, commander of Detective Borough Queens, said police responded to 911 calls about a dispute at the 1-1/2-story St. Albans house. Myles and Wheeler moved into the home in January and rented separate bedrooms in a basement apartment, she said.

Kearns said preliminary reports indicated one or both of the victims had been standing in a side driveway when they were shot and then ran into the apartment, where their bodies were discovered. Myles was shot in the head and Wheeler in the chest, according to the city medical examiner's office.

At least four shots were fired, Kearns said, adding that witnesses saw a black male flee the scene.

A small quantity of marijuana was found in one of the rooms, and Myles had been previously arrested for possession of the drug, Kearns said. But while police had responded to calls at the house before, none of them was drug-related, she said.

The owner of the house and another resident were home at the time of the murders, Kearns said. A man who identified himself as a resident of the house said last Thursday about the found drugs, “I didn't know nothing at all.” He declined to comment on whether he had seen or heard anything during the time of the shootings.

Myles was approached Feb. 9 at 115th Avenue and 204th Street by four men wielding knives with black handles, the district attorney said. The men took Myles' jacket, which held cash and a cell phone, and punched and kicked him in the face and body.

Police later arrested a man identified as Tony Howard of 50-05 Broadway in Woodside and charged him with robbery and assault, Brown said.

Wheeler was scheduled to be a witness against Howard. A month later on March 2 at 204th Street and 116th Avenue a man told her, “You and your snitch boyfriend need to get (Tony) out of jail,” and threatened to harm her if the couple did not comply, Brown said.

A second man, Jerome Ricketts of 194-42 113th Rd. in Hollis, was later charged with robbery, tampering with a witness and intimidating a witness or a victim, Brown said.

Before the shootings, a third man, Riheem Ortiz of 190-22 112th Ave. in Hollis, was also charged with robbery and assault, Brown said. All three suspects were being held at Riker's Island. Their next court date is set for May 26 at State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens, Brown said.

The fourth suspect has not yet been apprehended, Brown said.

Myles' family could not be reached for comment, while Wheeler's mother, who lives nearby, declined to speak with reporters. A teenage boy who answered her door did, however, confirm that Wheeler was pregnant.

Neighbors said they always saw the couple together but did not know them very well. One woman, Nicole Parkinson, 19, acknowledged that Myles was known by some as “Weedman” and that he was “not a 9-to-5 guy,” but did not elaborate. “He lived by the sword and he died by the sword,” she said cryptically.

Another neighbor, James Desulme, 28, said he worked with Myles at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken more than a year ago, and that the Jamaican-born Myles was known as “Dreads” because of his dreadlocks.

Desulme said Myles had wanted to open a Jamaican restaurant in the neighborhood but also spoke of returning to his birthplace.

Said Desulme: “He never liked it out here.”

Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

More from Around New York