Man Pays For R.H. Bar Shooting
Convicted last month of murdering a 19-year-old man outside a Richmond Hill bar more than two years ago, an Ozone Park man was ordered by a judge last Tuesday, Jan. 8, to serve up to 25 years to life in a state prison.
Miguel Viruet, 37, of 99th Street received the sentence handed down by Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder after being found guilty in December 2012 of seconddegree murder and criminal possession of a weapon for the killing of 19-year-old Christopher O’Hara of Springfield Gardens.
According to prosecutors, O’Hara was struck and fatally wounded by one of the shots Viruet fired at a crowd standing outside Scooby’s bar on Atlantic Avenue near 118th Street early on the morning of May 5, 2010. Reportedly, Viruet opened fire on patrons after learning that his brother had been assaulted at the bar hours earlier.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement that the sentence was “a measure of justice” for the victim and his family and that “violence such as this will not be tolerated” in Queens.
Law enforcement sources said that the trouble began just after 4 a.m. on May 5, 2010, when Viruet received a call from his brother, who claimed tha the had been assaulted by an unidentified individual outside of the bar.
A short time later, according to trial testimony, Viruet arrived at Scooby’s bar, accompanied by a pair of unnamed individuals. Reportedly, Viruet confronted the bar’s bouncer about the incident and learned that his brother had become inebriated at the club and was assaulted.
Prosecutors said Viruet left the scene in his vehicle and returned a short time later on foot. While stand- ing across the street from the bar, authorities noted, Viruet pulled out a gun and fired nine shots at the crowd standing outside the establishment, then fled from the scene.
One of the bullets reportedly struck O’Hara in the left torso.
Members of the 102nd Precinct and EMS units responded to the location. The victim was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Viruet was taken into custody on July 22, 2010 by Det. Khalid Ragab of the 102nd Precinct Detective Squad following a thorough investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Karen Ross of the D.A.’s Homicide Trials Bureau, which is supervised by Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, bureau chief, and Jack Warsawsky, deputy bureau chief