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Queens Chronicle

Juries convict three in separate murders

‘I can’t remember a day ... so many juries have spoken so loudly’ — DA Brown

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:25 am, Thu Dec 19, 2013.

Three Queens juries returned guilty verdicts in separate murder trials last Thursday.

Damel Burton, 36, of Foch Boulevard in Jamaica now faces 50 years to life in prison for shooting three men, two of whom died, in Dec. 2, 2011 attacks in an apartment building and on a Q111 bus.

Muhammad Iqbal, 49, of Brooklyn, was convicted of murdering his girlfriend in an argument on April 13, 2010, and dumping her body next to Montefiore Cemetery more than a day later.

Kereim Richardson, 34, also of Brooklyn, was convicted of shooting two men, killing one, during a dice game in the back room of a Liberty Avenue barber shop in the early-morning hours of Dec. 29, 2010.

Both Iqbal and Richardson are facing 25 years to life in prison.

“Yesterday was truly a great day for the people of New York — and the people of Queens County — who can feel secure that these three defendants are now behind bars and face lengthy prison terms,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement released by his office on Friday.

“I can’t remember a day when so many juries have spoken so loudly, so clearly and in unison about their abhorrence for the senseless killing of other human beings.” Brown added.

Burton shot and killed Keith Murrell in Murrell’s apartment, which also was located on Foch Boulevard.

He then fled the building and boarded the bus and fatally shot Marvin Gilkes in the head and wounded another man.

Murrell died of his wounds the next day at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

Burton was convicted of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after a four-week trial.

Iqbal became involved in an altercation with Khadija Mahel, 44, at about 4 p.m. before wrapping an electric cord round her neck and killing her.

Testimony during Iqbal’s three-week trial included that he then hid her body under their bed and left her there for more than 29 hours.

He ultimately wrapped her body in a carpet and drove to the corner of 228th Street and Francis Lewis Boulevard and dumped her there.

Iqbal was convicted of second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Richardson and Gary Bowlin were among a group of men participating in the barber shop dice game.

Both men were in the barber shop’s bathroom when other players said they heard gunshots. Players entered the bathroom to find Bowlin on the floor with wounds to his head and torso.

As Richardson left the bathroom he shot a second man who grabbed him, and the two began to tussle.

Bowlin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Richardson was convicted of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following his three-week trial.

Brown’s statement said all three men have been held without bail since their arrests.

Burton will be sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter on Dec. 19; Richardson on Jan. 6 by Justice James Griffin; and Iqbal on Jan. 22 by Justice Gregory Lasak.

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