An Arverne man was sentenced to nine years in prison on Tuesday in Queens Supreme Court for brutally assaulting his longtime friend following an argument and then agreeing to pay $5,000 to a supposed hitman to have him killed.
Mark Douglas of Beach Channel Drive was sentenced Jan. 9 after pleading guilty in November to a number of charges including assault and conspiracy in the second degree, after the hitman he thought he was contracting for the murder was an undercover officer.
According to the charges, on May 16, 2021, Douglas was at home at around 4 a.m. where he got into an argument with his longtime friend who was there to celebrate Douglas’ birthday. As the friend was leaving, Douglas approached him outside and attacked him from behind with a broken glass bottle that he had picked up from the street. He slashed the victim in the face leaving him with more than 100 stitches.
Douglas was arrested on May 25, 2021, and indicted on charges of assault in the first and second degrees and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. The victim was scheduled to testify at the trial, but Douglas had other ideas.
During the following winter, Douglas put out word that he wanted to have the victim killed before he could testify against him.
An investigation was launched, and members of the Queens District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau and Felony Trial Bureau worked with the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau to set up a sting operation. During the spring and summer of 2022, Douglas spoke several times on the phone with undercover officers posing as hitmen. In August 2022, Douglas met with one in person and agreed to pay $5,000 to have his former friend killed.
Douglas provided the undercover officer with detailed personal information about the witness, including his photo and home address.
“Thanks to the smart and consistent collaboration and my office and the NYPD, a violent, dangerous man is going to prison,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “Police and prosecutors working together is how we make our communities safe.”
Douglas pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the second degree, bribing a witness, tampering with a witness in the fourth degree, assault in the first and second degrees and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Queens Supreme Court Justice John Zoll sentenced Douglas to serve nine years in prison to be followed by five years post-release supervision.