Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Kareem Flake pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing the 26-year-old mother of his two children in November 2020. The victim’s remains were discovered four months later in the trunk of an abandoned car belonging to the defendant.

District Attorney Katz said: “This young mother was brutally murdered and her family left to agonize, not knowing what happened to her as her body lay in the trunk of an abandoned car for months. Hopefully this plea will afford some comfort to her loved ones.”

Flake, 31, of Troy, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree. Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise indicated he would sentence Flake on September 28, 2023, to a determinate term of 22 years in prison to be followed by five years post-release supervision.

According to the charges, Destini Smothers, 26, was last seen in a car with Flake after celebrating her birthday with friends at a Woodside bowling alley on November 3, 2020. On November 8, 2020, Smothers was reported missing.

On March 10, 2021, a Toyota Camry that had been abandoned at the intersection of 134th Avenue and 151st Place in South Jamaica was being towed when the tow truck operator saw a flat tire on the vehicle. The operator pulled over and opened the trunk to look for a spare. In the trunk, he discovered the decomposing remains of the victim and immediately notified authorities. It was determined that the car belonged to Flake.

An autopsy performed by the New York City Medical Examiner found that Smothers died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Flake was arrested on April 9, 2022, in Osceola County, Florida, and later extradited to New York.

Assistant District Attorney Mary Kate Quinn, Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney John Kosinski, Chief of the Homicide Bureau, Assistant District Attorneys Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Special Prosecutions Division Joyce A. Smith.

Recent Press