Queens Village resident Hopeton Prendergast, 66, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Monday after he was convicted at trial last month of murder and other crimes, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Tuesday.
Prendergast was a tenant who was being evicted from a shared residence on 220th Street when he fatally stabbed 23-year-old Duwayne Campbell, the son of the property owner in September 2019.
Prendergast was convicted following a nearly two-month-long trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder, who handed down the sentence.
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 Campbell 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.
“The evening before the defendant was due in court on a summons regarding his living situation, he and the son of the property owner argued,” Katz said. “The heated exchange became violent when the defendant grabbed a knife and brutally stabbed the victim. Violence is never the solution to a dispute. The court has now sentenced the defendant to a lengthy prison term for this senseless killing.”