Shaguye Colbert, 29, who pleaded guilty in April to first-degree…
By Matthew Monks
A Newark man was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week for the 1999 beating death of community activist Armando Perez in Long Island City, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Shaguye Colbert, 29, who pleaded guilty in April to first-degree manslaughter, is one of two men convicted in the 4 a.m. attack near Ravenswood Houses, which the DA said started as a heated dispute but ended in violence.
Judge Robert J. Hanophy in State Supreme Court handed Colbert a 10-year sentence June 16 in the death of Perez, who was at Ravenswood Houses on April 3, 1999 visiting his estranged wife, Marilyn, when he was attacked.
“The defendants have admitted their guilt and now are being punished with substantial prison terms for causing the violent death during a sidewalk dispute of Armando Perez,” Brown said in a statement.
Malik Hill, 26, of Newark, N.J. also pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and will be sentenced June 24 in Queens Supreme Court, where he should be sentenced to eight years in prison, Brown said.
Perez, a 51-year-old Community Board 3 member in Manhattan and a Democratic district leader, got into an argument with the defendants after one of them asked if they could lean against his car, according to testimony at the trial. A witness told the court that Perez shouted obscenities at the men and may have thrown the first punch in a fight that ended with the Latino activist lying beaten on the concrete in front of 34-04 24th St.
Perez, a founder of Charas/El Bohio Cultural and Community Center, sustained fractured ribs, a lacerated spleen and brain trauma, the DA said. He died that same day of blunt impact to the head and torso, a spokesman for the chief medical examiner’s office said.
Four Long Island City men were originally charged with the murder in June and July 1999, but the charges were dropped after eyewitness testimony proved unreliable.
Colbert was arrested July 23, 1999, two days after he was charged with unrelated robbery charges in New Jersey. He originally pleaded not guilty to charges of second- degree murder and manslaughter with his attorney arguing that Colbert was a witness to the assault, but not a participant.
Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at email@example.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.