102nd Precinct: Burglary, Murder Sentence

This man is sought in a burglary.

This man is sought in a burglary.

BURGLARY—

Police said that they are searching for an individual who is wanted in connection with two burglaries that took place on June 3 within the confines of the 102nd Precinct.
Around 5:50 a.m., the burglar entered a residence in the vicinity of 77th Street and Rockaway Boulevard through the kitchen window. The suspect fled northbound on 77th Street without any property.
Then, at 6 a.m., he attempted to enter a residence in the vicinity of 91st Avenue and 77th Street by opening the rear screen window to the kitchen, but was unsuccessful.
The burglar is described as a black man who was last seen wearing blue jeans, black sneakers and a long-sleeved dark hooded T-shirt.

MURDER SENTENCING—

A 37-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of a Queens imam and his friend in Ozone Park in August 2016, the Queens district attorney said.

Oscar Morel, who lives on Miller Avenue in Brooklyn, was convicted in march following a three-week trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak. The jury found the defendant guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Lasak sentenced Morel on Wednesday.

On Aug. 13, 2016, Morel gunned down Imam Maulana Akonjee and his friend, Thara Uddin, as they walked home following prayers at the Al-furqan Jame Masjid Mosque in Ozone Park.

“The defendant is this case showed not an ounce of sympathy or respect for human life when he gunned down the beloved spiritual leader and his associate moments after the two men left a nearby mosque,” Queens DA Richard Brown said.

The victims had been walking on Liberty Avenue and 79th Street shortly before 2 p.m. when the defendant approached them from the rear and pointed a .38 caliber revolver at their heads. Morel fired several shots and ran from the scene. The imam, 55, was hit four times in the head and body, while Uddin, 64, was shot once in the head. They were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

According to trial records, video surveillance from near the scene of the shooting showed Morel getting out of a black SUV, first walking and then running toward the two victims. Moments later, Morel is seen again on the same surveillance running back to his vehicle and leaving the area.

Approximately 12 minutes later, the defendant was observed on video surveillance at Pitkin and Pine avenues in Brooklyn striking a bicyclist with his automobile, and then driving away without stopping. A local resident who witnessed the incident followed Morel in his own automobile and took down the defendant’s license plate number.

According to evidence presented at trial, the .38 caliber firearm that was used to shoot the two victims was recovered from the defendant’s home. It was hidden behind a kitchen wall in Morel’s apartment. Forensic analysis confirmed that the bullets that killed the imam and Uddin were fired from the gun.

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