BY NATHAN DUKE AND JEREMY WALSH
Balbir Singh, of 34-54 64th St. in Woodside, was arrested Sunday and charged Monday with murder, assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years to life in prison, he said.Singh, an Indian immigrant who lives with at least 10 family members, was taken into custody after he allegedly stabbed his wife three times in the torso and once in the neck during a fight around 9 p.m. Sunday in the family's apartment, the DA said.The defendant, who had worked in construction, also allegedly slashed the forearm of his 7-year-old daughter, giving her a six-inch laceration which required 11 stitches, when she attempted to help her mother, a DA spokeswoman said.”It is difficult to imagine a crime more heinous than that of a man violently attacking his wife and in the process seriously injuring his helpless, 7-year-old daughter,” Brown said.It was unclear what caused the fight, the spokeswoman said. The victim was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital, she said.The defendant's family said that he had drinking problems and would often initiate physical disputes with his wife and children. Singh was also out of work at the time of the incident, his family said.”He would drink and scream at the wife and kids,” said Manoj Kumar, the defendant's cousin. “He would make up something in his head to scream about. If he hit her she would say, 'No, he didn't hit me.' He was a nicer person in India.”The family said the victim had been waiting on paperwork that would have allowed her to move back to India within several months. She did not have any family in the United States, they said.”She was a happy woman,” the defendant's brother said. “She liked to play with the kids.”The family said the defendant's 7-year-old daughter was still in the hospital. The couple also had a 5-year-old son, they said.A spokeswoman for the city's Administration for Children's Services said it was investigating the incident. The defendant's family said they would fight for custody of the couple's children.Aaron Davis contributed to this story.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.