Press Release

MAN INDICTED FOR STABBING DEATH FOUR YEARS AGO IN ASTORIA

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Luis Hernandez was arraigned today for murder and gang assault in the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old man and the attempted murder of two others in Astoria in February 2020.

District Attorney Katz said: “A young man’s life was cut short in a brutal act of violence four years ago. His killers may think they got away with murder, but we will use every tool at our disposal to bring them to justice, no matter how much time has passed.”

Hernandez, 36, of 56th Street in Maspeth, was arraigned on a seven-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree, gang assault in the first degree, two counts of attempted murder in the second degree, two counts of attempted gang assault in the first degree and assault in the second degree.

He faces up to 75 years to life in prison if convicted. Justice Kenneth Holder ordered him to return to court on March 26.

According to the charges:

  • On February 9, 2020, between approximately 8:20 p.m. and 8:50 p.m., Hernandez, acting with at least two  unapprehended others, punched and stabbed Richard Hernandez, 21, of Long Island City. The attack happened in front of 36-30 31st Street in Astoria. The victim, who was not related to the defendant, was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
  • Two other individuals were also assaulted by the defendant and unapprehended others during the attack. One victim was stabbed in the lower back and the other was slashed across his jacket and punched about his body. Both were treated for their injuries and survived.
  • Investigators recovered two switchblade-style knives and a machete from the crime scene.
  • Nearly four years after the attack, the defendant was seen by NYPD transit officers vaping inside the 59th Street subway station in Brooklyn on January 12. A records search indicated Hernandez was a suspect in the Astoria stabbing. He is the only suspect apprehended to date.

At the time of the defendant’s arrest, the case was being actively investigated by prosecutors in the Queens County District Attorney’s Cold Case Unit under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Karen Ross, Chief of the Cold Case Unit.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Patrick O’Brien of the 114th Precinct Detective Squad Queens Homicide Squad and detectives from the Queens North Homicide Squad of the New York City Police Department in conjunction with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office Cold Case Unit.

Assistant District Attorney Marilyn Filingeri, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Veronika Podoprigora under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys John Kosinski, Bureau Chief, and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Shawn Clark.

 

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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