Boujeke Kenmoe, 41, was charged Monday with the strangulation death of his 8-year-old son, Jerry, in their Fresh Meadows apartment on Sunday.
Kenmoe was recovering from self-inflicted wounds to his wrist at Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica, where he was awaiting arraignment.
Around 10 p.m. on Sunday, police say that the father called 911 to ask for an ambulance for himself and his son. When officials arrived at the first-floor apartment at 169-17 Underhill Ave., they found the boy dead. It is believed he was strangled earlier in the day.
Police discovered Kenoe sitting on the floor with his wrist cut and the son dead on his bed. He allegedly told police on the way to the hospital that he had choked Jerry and attempted to take his own life because he was depressed over the divorce from his wife.
But published accounts say the couple has been divorced amicably for four years and had been living apart before then.
Neighbors said that Kenmoe, a native of Cameroon, was often seen walking his son to school at PS 107 in Flushing, where he was a third-grader.
James Lana, 75, one of the neighbors, told the Chronicle that he has lived there 50 years and was surprised to hear of the crime. Lana reported what appeared to him to be a normal father-son relationship, often seeing the boy being taken to school by his father.
Another neighbor, Sean McCarthy, lives a short distance down the street and was out walking his dog Shea, on Monday. He told of seeing nothing surprising. Although he did not generally speak to the father, “everything seemed completely normal,” McCarthy said.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called the murder “incomprehensible.”
“This is a horrifying case of a father accused of murdering his own son, a defenseless 8-year-old, by choking him to death,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “The defendant’s actions, if true, are incomprehensible in a civilized society and must be severely punished.”
Kenmoe has been charged with second-degree murder and faces up to 25 years to life in prison. He has no past criminal record and police say they were never called to the apartment for any problems.