By Gina Martinez
A Connecticut man has been convicted of murder in a Kew Gardens road-rage episode that left one man dead and his brother shot in the face, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
After a two-week trial, George Cupi, 54, of Westside Lane in Shelton, Conn., was found guilty of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The charges stemmed from a traffic dispute in July 2011 in Kew Gardens.
Brown said that, according to the charges, Cupi double-parked his white van on Austin Street in Kew Gardens around 8 p.m. on July 14, 2011. A car approached the van from behind with Jovanny Adames and his wife inside. Adames honked his horn several times, hoping the van would move and he could pass, Brown said.
According to the charges, when the van did not move, Adames exited his car and approached Cupi, who was behind the wheel of the van. An argument ensued, and Adames’s brother Roberto Adames, hearing the commotion, walked over, and all three men argued until the defendant drove away, Brown said.
Cupi returned to the scene of the argument minutes later, according to the charges, pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and began shooting at the two brothers as they sat in Eight Oaks Triangle, a small park a block away. Roberto Adames, 25, was shot three times in his chest and died. A bullet struck Jovanny Adames, 31, in the face and lodged in his brain, but he survived, Brown said.
Cupi fled the scene and remained free until December 2015, after an anonymous letter was sent to police in Connecticut telling them that Cupi had committed a murder in Kew Gardens in 2011.
Brown said that this was a senseless shooting.
“A jury weighed all the evidence and found the defendant guilty of killing one man and seriously injuring his brother,” he said. “The traffic dispute had ended and the defendant had left the scene, but instead of letting it go, he returned just minutes later to the same street. He shot both men as they sat in a park.”
Sentencing is set for Feb. 5. Cupi faces a maximum of 50 years to life in prison, Brown said.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart