Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Shaquan Butler was arraigned yesterday on murder charges in the death of his 3-year-old son.

District Attorney Katz said: “A defenseless young child’s life was brutally snatched from him before it even began in most ways; a case that is equal parts heartbreaking and disturbing. As alleged, the defendant is responsible for this brutal death and my Office will be sure to secure justice in this innocent child’s memory.”

Butler, 26, of Elmhurst, Queens, was arraigned yesterday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Michael Yavinsky on a six-count complaint charging him with two counts of murder in the second degree, two counts of manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child. Butler was ordered by Judge Yavinsky to return to court on November 22. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

According to the charges, on Sunday, November 13, at approximately 7:40 p.m., the defendant allegedly struck his son in the torso inside of the family’s apartment in the Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst. The child’s mother and his two young siblings were in the apartment at the time as well.

Responding to a 911 call, the New York Fire Department arrived at the hotel and found the 3-year-old victim on the floor unconscious with bruising to the child’s head, torso and extremities. The child was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The medical examiner determined that the child had significant internal bleeding and died from blunt force trauma to his torso.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Ronald Nalbach of the New York Police Departments’ 110 Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Frank Galati, of the Queens North Homicide Squad.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Selkowe of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter McCormack III and John W. Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

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