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Queens Chronicle

Two arrested for house fire murder

Victim was found shot in apartment

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Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:58 am, Thu Mar 14, 2013.

Police have arrested two men in connection with a murder in Richmond Hill last weekend.

Jason St. Hill, 17, and Stephen Peters, 22, both of Richmond Hill as well, have been taken into custody and will face a laundry list of charges including murder, kidnapping and arson for the death of 43-year-old Guyanese immigrant Azeem Ali. Ali was found dead in a rear bedroom of his apartment at 95-06 116 St. after a two-alarm fire gutted the residence in the early morning hours of Feb. 24. He was discovered bound and shot in the head with severe burns all over his body. Police say the fire was started intentionally.

St. Hill and Peters, who both live at 116-11 95 Ave., around the block from where the victim was found, were both indicted on counts of kidnapping, arson in the first degree, murder in the second degree, burglary in the first degree, robbery in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

St. Hill has also been charged with criminal possession of stolen property, while Peters was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.

“The defendants are accused of breaking into a man’s home and robbing him before fatally shooting him and attempting to cover up their alleged crimes by intentionally setting fire to his apartment,” Queens DA Richard Brown said. “This case will be vigorously prosecuted to ensure that justice is served.”

According to the charges, Peters allegedly punched and pistol whipped Ali after entering the apartment before the fire, then tied his hands with electrical cord. He then allegedly went to the basement to get gasoline while St. Hill is accused of holding Ali at gunpoint. Peters then allegedly demanded and received Ali’s PIN number and ATM card, then shot him in the head before setting the apartment on fire.

Both suspects are being held without bail and will return to court on March 14. They face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

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