Strangled Woman, Set Deadly Fire
A 26-year-old Springfield Gardens man convicted of fatally strangling his pregnant ex-girlfriend- then setting fire to her home, which led to the death of her two-year-old son-will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, law enforcement sources stated.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the defendant as Jimmy Humphrey, 26, of Selover Road in Springfield Gardens, who has been held without bail since his arrest in July 2010. Humphrey was convicted this past January of four counts of second-degree murder and one count each of first- and seconddegree arson, first-degree reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence following a four- week jury trial.
Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak, who presided at trial, sentenced Humphrey last Wednesday, Mar. 6, to serve 50 years to life in prison.
“These were particularly vicious murders in which the defendant stands convicted of first strangling the mother of his unborn child and then, without the slightest regard for human life, attempted to cover up his crime by intentionally setting fire to her home, thereby taking the life of her innocent two-year-old son,” Brown said in a statement last Wednesday. “Under the circumstances, the lengthy sentence imposed today is just punishment for the defendant and will serve to protect society from a dangerous man.”
According to trial testimony, firefighters responded to an anonymous 911 call and came upon a fire on the second floor of a home on Anderson Road just after 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.
Inside, they discovered the burned body of Linda Anderson, 25, and her son, Ayden Hayes, 2, laying in the apartment. The toddler was transported to a local Queens hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An investigation by the Fire Department determined that the blaze was not the result of any accidental or natural causes.
In statements made to police, Humphrey said that he was in the apartment with Anderson and her son just prior to the fire and that he had grabbed Anderson by the throat and shoved her, causing her to fall. He also admitted that he hit Anderson with a bottle of alcohol and used her lighter to set her couch on fire even though he knew that her son Hayes was inside the apartment.
Humphrey additionally admitted that he was aware that Anderson was pregnant and that he did not want to have a family with her. Humphrey further admitted that he then ran from the apartment, leaving behind Anderson with her body on fire and her son asleep in a bedroom.
Finally, Humphrey admitted that he went home and laid down for a period of time before walking to a phone to call 911 to report the fire.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that Anderson died as a result of neck compression and that she was pregnant.
The Medical Examiner’s office also ruled that Hayes died as a result of smoke inhalation and other injuries.
Assistant District Attorney Brad A. Leventhal, bureau chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Trials Bureau, prosecuted the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Kristin J. Papadopolous of the District Attorney’s Homicide Investigations Bureau, who is under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Peter T. Reese, bureau chief, and Peter J. McCormack III, deputy bureau chief. Both Leventhal and Papadopolous are under 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.