By Ivan Pereira
A Jamaica squatter was convicted last week of killing another person in an abandoned building two years ago after the two quarreled over an illegal prostitution ring that was being operated out of the property, the Queens district attorney said.
Reginald Monroe, aka Abdullah Shahid Haqq, 54, was found guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon by a jury Friday following a three-week trial, Queens DA Richard Brown said. Monroe killed John Williams, 44, who was suspected of running a prostitution ring out of the abandoned apartment building where they both were squatting, according to the DA.
“If this defendant disapproved of the victim allegedly running a prostitution ring out of the apartment building where they both lived as squatters on separate floors, he should have called the police,” he said in a statement.
“Instead, a jury has found he violently attacked his neighbor and killed him. He now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.”
On June 21, 2009, Monroe confronted Williams in his third floor room, at 106-53 150th St., because he was fed up with the prostitution, Brown said. Williams allegedly offered Monroe a chance to join him in running the ring, but Monroe was angered with the victim’s treatment of women and said Williams’ illicit actions conflicted with his religious beliefs, according to the DA.
Monroe shot Williams twice in the torso and the victim tried to flee, but Monroe caught up to him and fatally stabbed him 57 times in the head, neck and torso, Brown said. Monroe dragged Williams’ corpse into the basement of the building, where police discovered it hanging from a twisted T-shirt caught on the staircase the next day.
Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak has scheduled a sentencing date for Nov. 2, when Monroe faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.