A man living at the homeless shelter at the old Pan Am Hotel in Elmhurst was officially charged with murder in the death of his 3-year-old son.
Shaquan Butler, 26, was arraigned on Nov. 20 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Michael Yavinsky on a six-count indictment charging him with two counts of murder in the second degree, two counts of manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
On the night of Sunday, Nov. 11, Butler allegedly stuck his son, also named Shaquan, in the torso inside the family’s unit at the Boulevard Family Residence located at 79-00 Queens Blvd., according to the charges. Responding to a 911 call, the FDNY and police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst arrived at the shelter and found the youngster on the floor of the apartment unconscious with bruising to his head, torso and extremities. The child was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead. The medical examiner determined that the child had significant internal bleeding and died from blunt force trauma to his torso.
Butler has an extensive rap sheet, including 28 prior arrests for hate crimes, petit larceny, menacing, gang assaults, inciting to riot, burglary and more.
“A defenseless young child’s life was brutally snatched from him before it even began in most ways; a case that is equal parts heartbreaking and disturbing,” Katz said. “As alleged, the defendant is responsible for this brutal death and my office will be sure to secure justice in this innocent child’s memory.”
Judge Yavinsky ordered Butler to return to court on Nov. 22. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.