Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that Hopeton Prendergast, 66, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted at trial of murder and other crimes. The defendant was a tenant who was being evicted from a shared residence on 220th Street in Queens Village. He fatally stabbed to death the 23-year-old son of the property owner in September 2019.

District Attorney Katz said, “The evening before the defendant was due in Court on a summons regarding his living situation, he and the son of the property owner argued. The heated exchange became violent when the defendant grabbed a knife and brutally stabbed the victim. Violence is never the solution to a dispute. A Court has now sentenced the defendant to a lengthy prison term for this senseless killing.”

Prendergast, of 220th Street in Queens Village, was convicted following a nearly two-week-long trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder. The jury last month found Prendergast guilty of murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Justice Holder late yesterday ordered the defendant to serve 25 years to life in prison.

At approximately 5 p.m. on September 29, 2019, according to the trial testimony, the defendant and the victim, Duwayne Campbell, argued in the residence the two men shared on 220th Street in Queens Village, Queens. The dispute 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 man.

The DA said, the victim managed to run from the home with the defendant chasing him outside still pointing and waving the knife. Mr. Campbell managed to jump over a railing to escape the defendant and then ran back into the house and up the stairs where his 16-year-old sister attempted to render aid. Mr. Campbell suffered a fatal stab wound to the abdomen. The knife pierced his liver, diaphragm and heart.

The defendant fled the area but 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.