Press Release



Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Steven Somerville was sentenced to 27 to 29 years in prison for repeatedly stalking and threatening a woman who broke off their relationship and then setting her apartment on fire. The woman was not home at the time of the blaze, having fled with her three children to a domestic violence shelter fearing Somerville would act upon his threats.

District Attorney Katz said: “Access to a domestic violence shelter may very well have saved this woman’s life. I urge victims of domestic violence who need safety planning services, or help in securing an order of protection or shelter placement, to call our 24-hour DV Helpline at (718) 286-4410.”

Somerville, 52, of Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, was convicted by a jury in July 2023 of arson in the second degree, burglary in the second degree, reckless endangerment, criminal contempt in the first degree and stalking in the third and fourth degrees. Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone, Jr. sentenced Somerville Thursday to 27 years to 29 years in prison.

According to the charges and trial testimony:

• Somerville met the female victim at their mutual place of employment. In October 2021, Somerville and the woman began an intimate relationship.

• Although married, Somerville became fixated on the woman and targeted her with unwanted attention. He showed up at the victim’s residence uninvited if she didn’t answer his calls and insisted on driving her to work, even though she said she didn’t want to see him.

• Somerville’s wife found out about the victim, became concerned for the woman’s safety and encouraged her to contact the police.

• On December 4, 2021, when the victim attempted to end her relationship with Somerville, he threatened to kill her. She fled her residence with her three children to a domestic violence shelter. Over a 24-hour period, Somerville called the victim more than 100 times.

• On December 7, 2021, at approximately 4:00 a.m., Somerville entered the victim’s empty apartment in a six-story building in Forest Hills. He moved two mattresses from a bedroom into the living room, piled them with household items and clothing and set them on fire. He left the apartment through a window leaving the front door locked. Surveillance footage shows him in the vicinity of the building at the time.

• Before and after the fire, Somerville sent the victim threatening texts saying, “I want you to know that I’m really going to kill you;” “There is no where I won’t find you now. I’m gonna devote my whole life to finding you and killing you.”

Assistant District Attorney Paige Nyer, Supervisor of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, prosecuted the case with the assistance of FDNY Fire Marshall Bryan Fealy and Assistant District Attorney Emily Aguggia, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Audra Beerman and Howard McCallum, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, Assistant District Attorney Mary Kate Quinn, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Special Prosecutions Joyce Smith, with the assistance of Victoria Filipe and Jennifer Rudy of the Crime Strategies and Intelligence Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Shanon LaCorte, Bureau Chief.

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