A Queens Village man is facing life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering the son of his landlord in 2019, the Queens District Attorney’s office announced on Thursday, April 7.
Hopeton Prendergast, 66, was convicted following a nearly two-week-long trial for murder and other crimes in the fatal stabbing of 23-year-old Duwayne Campbell, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
According to trial testimony, at around 5 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2019, Prendergast and Campbell argued in the residence they shared on 220th Street in Queens Village. The argument escalated when Predergast, who was being evicted from the home by the victim’s mother, grabbed a large knife and repeatedly stabbed the victim.
Prendergast chased Cambell outside while pointing and waving the knife at him again, according to trial records. Campbell jumped over a railing to escape the defendant and ran back into the house and up the stairs where his 16-year-old sister attempted to render aid, but it was too late, according to the DA’s office.
The victim suffered a fatal stab wound to the abdomen which pierced his liver, diaphragm and heart as well as two additional wounds to his left side. Prendergast fled the scene and was found nearly three weeks later, hiding in a building that was under construction.
“On the evening before he was due in court to answer a summons relating to his living space, the defendant became embroiled in an argument with the victim that ended in bloodshed,” Katz said. “Violence is never the way to resolve a dispute. A jury weighed all of the evidence at trial and found the defendant guilty.”
Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder, who presided at trial, set sentencing for May 2. At that time, Prendergast faces 25 years to life in prison.