By Philip Newman
Lueggie Dowling, 23, of 409 Beach 51st St. could get 25 years to life in prison on March 2 when he is scheduled to be sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Roberta Dunlop.A jury of nine women and three men deliberated for five hours and found Dowling guilty last Thursday night of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, the DA said. The trial lasted two weeks.”The victim was a hardworking young woman working long hours to support her family,” DA Richard Brown said of the slain woman.”The defendant and his alleged accomplice used an illegal handgun to rob and kill the victim,” Brown said. “His lethal conduct took a life and shattered a family with grief and it warrants imposition of a maximum prison sentence to punish him and protect society.”According to trial testimony, the two men walked into the Beautiful Gardens restaurant at 21-03 Cornega Ave. in Far Rockaway on July 18, 2003 and robbed the place of $500 at gunpoint. Lin Li Shen, 25, of Far Rockaway, the restaurant cashier, was fatally shot in the head.The intruders fled on foot.Dowling was arrested Sept. 9, 2003, a week after the apprehension of his alleged accomplice, Jamel Heyward, 26, of 186 Amboy St., Far Rockaway. Hayward is jailed without bail awaiting trial. Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal, deputy chief of the Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case.Shen's killing followed a series of other fatal robberies of Chinese restaurant employees in southeast Queens. Last year two 16-year-olds were charged with robbing and killing a deliveryman in Rochdale Village and then dumping his body in Brookville Park. Five teenagers were convicted and sent to prison in the 2000 murder of another Chinese food deliveryman in St. Albans. And two men who were teenagers at the time of a similar killing in Hollis in 1999 were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at email@example.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.