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Flushing Man’s Murderer to Spend 50 Years Behind Bars

Stabbed Victim, Invaded Mom’s Home

A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for the May 2011 kidnaping and murder of a 33-year-old Flushing man and for the kidnaping of the victim’s 80-year-old mother during a home invasion and robbery.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the defendant as Domingo Mateo, 24, of Elm Street, in Reading, Pa., who was convicted on Jan. 25of second-degree murder, first- and second-degree kidnaping, first-degree burglary, first- and second degree robbery, second-degree menacing, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a two-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis.

The judge sentenced Mateo last Wednesday, Feb. 20, to the indeterminate sentence of 50 years to life in prison.

“The sentence imposed in this case is more than justified and reflects the seriousness of the crime,” Brown said. “[Mateo] has been convicted of lying in wait for his victim and then viciously attacking him and tying up his mother during the course of ransacking their apartment.”

According to trial testimony, on May 3, 2011, the victim, Thomas Shanis, 33-a reputed marijuana dealer-left his apartment located on Ash Avenue in Flushing to walk his dog, Sampson, a German shep the herd/Labrador retriever mix. As he did so, he inadvertently let Domingo Mateo and his alleged accomplice, Juan Mejia, into the building.

Once inside the building, Mateo and allegedly Mejia, made their way to the sixth floor and waited in the stairwell to the roof-which was right next to Shanis’ apartment door-for Shanis to return.

Upon his return Mateo, and allegedly Mejia, attacked him in the hallway. During the struggle, Mejia allegedly pistolwhipped Shanis about the head and Mateo stabbed him in the back. The dog, Sampson, was also stabbed, suffering a deep wound to his neck, as Mateo, and allegedly Mejia, forced their way into the apartment, where Shanis’ mother also lived.

According to trial testimony, Shanis’ mother was bound with duct tape while her son, Thomas, was bound and left on the kitchen floor where he bled to death. Mateo and allegedly Mejia then ransacked Thomas Shanis’ bedroom and removed a metal box and other items. Money was also demanded from Shanis’ mother.

Mejia, who has been indicted on murder, kidnaping and other charges, is presently awaiting trial.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Denise Tirino of the District Attorney’s Homicide Trials Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Carla L. Cheung of the Homicide Investigations Bureau prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Brad A. Leventhal, chief of the Homicide Trials Bureau, and Jack Warsawsky, deputy bureau chief, and Peter T. Reese, chief of the Homicide Investigations Bureau, and Peter J. McCormack III and Richard B. Schaeffer, deputy bureau chiefs, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

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