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Hollis man indicted by grand jury in murder of Jamaica pawn shop owner: DA

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Hollis resident Rodolfo Lopez-Portillo was indicted by a Queens grand jury on murder charges in the fatal beating of a Jamaica pawn shop owner in March. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Hollis resident Rodolfo Lopez-Portillo was indicted by a Queens grand jury and arraigned in Queens Supreme Court Friday, June 10, on murder charges and other crimes for the vicious killing of a 60-year-old pawn shop owner in Jamaica in March.

Lopez-Portillo faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

According to the charges, soon after noon on March 28, Lopez-Portillo, who lives on Jamaica Avenue near 186th Street, walked into the Global Pawn Shop on Jamaica Avenue and confronted the store’s owner Arasb Shoughi. The defendant allegedly wielded a metal rod and repeatedly struck Shoughi in the head. The married father of three from Jamaica Estates was so badly bludgeoned, that investigators initially believed he had been shot in the head. Lopez-Portillo was captured on video surveillance landing blow after blow as Shoughi lay on the floor, The defendant then allegedly removed a ring and necklace from the victim and then stole a cell phone and other items from the stores shelves before fleeing the crime scene.

EMS responded and transported the victim to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where doctors revealed that he was suffering from blunt force trauma. Shoughi succumbed to his injuries three weeks later on April 17.

Police outside the Jamaica pawn shop where the fatal beating took place. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Detectives from the NYPD’s Fugitive Task Force tracked down Lopez-Portillo in Maryland and arrested him on May 5 and he was extradited back to Queens to face justice on May 18.

“The defendant has been indicted on murder charges following the fatal beating of a pawn store owner during a broad daylight robbery,” Katz said. “Brutal lawlessness against our local business owners is unacceptable and will not go unanswered. The defendant faces a lengthy prison term if convicted for his alleged crimes.”

Lopez-Portillo was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder on a five-count indictment charging him with two counts of murder in the second degree, two counts of robbery in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Justice Holder set the defendant’s return date for July 12.

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