BY COURTNEY OBENG
A drifter from Boston accused of strangulation and robbery of a Woodside resident was sentenced Tuesday to serve 25 years to life behind bars, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced.
Raymond Epps, 59, was convicted Jan. 28 of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fourth-degree grand larceny, according to Brown.
Epps met the victim, Wayne Graves, 62, at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and stayed with him at his Berkeley Towers apartment in Woodside, Queens, from Oct. 16 to 18, 2011, according to trial testimony.
“The defendant repaid his benefactor’s generous act of kindness by strangling him in his own home and then stealing his credit cards,” Brown said.
Evidence introduced at the trial revealed that Epps used Graves’ credit cards to purchase a bus ticket to Boston and various merchandise, which he used to trade for crack cocaine.
A friend of Graves testified that he visited the Woodside apartment Oct. 16, 2011, and Epps introduced himself and said he was staying a few nights with Graves.
On Oct. 19, the victim’s friend visited the apartment and when Graves didn’t answer he had the building superintendent open the door. The friend found Graves’ body in the bathtub. Strangulation was ruled as the cause of death.