Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Shaquan Butler has been indicted for murder, endangering the welfare of a child and other crimes in connection with the death of his 3-year-old son and physical abuse to a second child in an Elmhurst shelter last month.

District Attorney Katz said: “As alleged, this parent failed his primary duty as a protector, killing one of his own children by callous force and allegedly injured another. We will not forget this child.  The defendant will be held fully accountable for his actions.”

Butler, 26, of Elmhurst, was arraigned yesterday on an eleven-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree, two counts of manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the second degree and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Butler was ordered by Judge Michael Yavinsky to return to court on January 31. He faces up to 40 years to life in prison if convicted.

According to the indictment, on Sunday, November 13, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Butler was in an apartment at the Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst when he allegedly struck his 3-year-old son in the multiple times causing lacerations to the child’s liver and internal bleeding. 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 unconscious on the floor with visible bruises to the head, body 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. Medical examination of a second child, who is 2 years old, revealed physical injuries consistent with child abuse.

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.