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Former MTA operator sentenced in killing of well-known Forest Hills jeweler: DA

Charles Jordan was sentenced to 26 years in prison for fatally striking a Forest Hills resident and diamond dealer known as the “jeweler to the stars.”
Photo by Ellis Kaplan
By Mark Hallum

A suspended MTA train operator has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for the road rage killing of a Forest Hills jeweler known for his high-profile clientele, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter found Charles Jordan, 48, guilty after a two-week-long jury trialof first-degree manslaughter and felony for leaving-the-scene in February.

The death of Aron “Eric” Aranbayev came following a petty dispute in front of his 71st Avenue and 110th Street home before Jordan backed his 2005 dark blue Dodge Magnum into the man, causing fatal head injuries, the DA said.

“Today’s sentence, imposed by the court, punishes the defendant for this vicious act that arose out of a petty dispute,” Brown said. “This was a senseless death that could have easily been avoided.”

Aranbayev was known to cater to the rich and the famous, earning him the title of “Jeweler to the Stars.” A husband and father of four young children, Aranbayev was co-owner of Rafaello & Co. in the Diamond District of Manhattan where he had his own cadre of famous customers, such as Floyd Mayweather, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Alicia Keys and Jamie Fox

He was getting out of a vehicle dropping him off at his home when Jordan, of Valley Stream, L.I., passed by at a high rate of speed, the DA said. When Aranbayev shouted at the driver, Jordan stopped the car and backed up.

During the dispute, Aranbayev and Jordan exchanged words before the defendant threw the car into reverse for a second time and struck the 40-year-old victim, who suffered skull fractures and brain injuries. Aranbayev died from his injuries at Jamaica Hospital the day following the incident

Jordan fled the scene, but was eventually picked up by police and charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting a death and criminal possession of a weapon, the DA said.

“After weighing all the evidence, including video surveillance of the fatal encounter, the defendant was found guilt of manslaughter,” Brown said after the guilty sentence was handed down in February. “The defendant rammed a 1,000-plus pound vehicle into the victim and knocked him to the ground, where he hit his head.”

Jordan is a former MTA train operator on suspension and was apprehended about a week after the incident by the 112th Precinct’s detective squad and the Queens North Homicide Squad.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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