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Man gets 17 years for beating senior roommate to death: DA

By Sarina Trangle

A former resident of a Rockaway Park nursing home was sentenced to 17 years in prison last week after pleading guilty to clubbing his 71-year-old roommate to death with the metal footrest of a wheelchair in October, the DA said.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Thomas Yarnavick, 67, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of Jailall Singh, 71, whom he shared a residence with in the Beacon Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, at 140 Beach 113th St.

Following the May plea, Brown said acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt handed down the 17-year prison sentence last week.

“This was a particularly senseless and disturbing killing of a man living out his days at a nursing facility,” Brown said in a statement. “With his guilty plea, the defendant has taken responsibility for his actions and the sentence meted out by the court ensures that justice is served.”

Yarnavick repeatedly struck Singh in the head with the footrest of a wheelchair while the 71-year-old lay in bed sometime between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Oct. 30, 2013, Brown said.

A witness told police he saw Yarnavick standing next to the victim with the piece of bloodied metal equipment in hand and watched him place it in a laundry hamper, according to the criminal complaint filed against Yarnavick.

This witness reported to officers that Singh was covered in blood and his head was caved in, the complaint said,

Yarnavick, who was also spattered with blood, said, “I just killed him,” according to the criminal complaint.

Singh was rushed to St. John’s Hospital, where he died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@cnglocal.com.

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