JURY CONVICTS QUEENS MAN OF MURDER FOR KILLING THE SON OF HIS LANDLORD
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that Hopeton Prendergast, 66, has been convicted at trial of murder and other crimes. The defendant – who was a tenant being evicted from a shared residence on 220th Street in Queens Village – fatally stabbed to death the 23-year-old son of the property owner in September 2019.
District Attorney Katz said, “On the evening before he was due in Court to answer a summons relating to his living space, the defendant became embroiled in an argument with the victim that ended in bloodshed. Violence is never the way to resolve a dispute. A jury weighed all the evidence at trial and found the defendant guilty.”
Following a nearly two-week-long trial, a jury yesterday found Prendergast guilty of murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder, who presided at trial, set sentencing for May 2, 2022. At that time, Prendergast faces 25 years to life in prison.
According to the trial testimony, at approximately 5 p.m. on September 29, 2019, the defendant and victim Duwayne Campbell argued in the residence they shared on 220th Street in Queens Village, Queens. The argument escalated when the defendant, who was being evicted from the home by the victim’s mother, grabbed a large knife and repeatedly stabbed the 23-year-old.
Continuing, per trial records, the defendant chased the victim outside while pointing and waving the knife at him again. The victim jumped over a railing to escape the defendant and ran back into the house and upstairs where his 16-year-old sister attempted to render aid. The victim suffered a fatal stab wound to the abdomen which pierced his liver, diaphragm and heart as well as two additional wounds to his left side.
The defendant fled the scene and was found nearly three weeks later, hiding in a building under construction.
Assistant District Attorney Tara A. DiGregorio, Assistant Deputy Bureau Chief of the DA’s Human Trafficking Bureau and formerly of the Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Kiran Cheema, also with the Human Trafficking Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter J. McCormack III and John Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs of Homicide, Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.