A 52-year-old Brooklyn man who had just been released from Rikers Island has been charged in the death of his girlfriend, who lived in Jamaica, the Queens district attorney said.
Jerome Rivers—who lives on Kings Highway in Brooklyn and was released on Sept. 28 from jail—has been charged with murdering his estranged girlfriend—49-year-old Gia Pender, a Jamaica resident—on the day after his release from Rikers Island.
Rivers was arraigned on Oct. 1 on charges of second-degree murder and criminal contempt before Queens Criminal Court Judge Lynn Kotler. The defendant was remanded into custody and ordered to return to court on Oct. 30. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
Rivers had been held on Rikers Island for two months and, during that time, was under an active order of protection not to contact the victim. On several occasions, Rivers allegedly called Pender. Upon his release, he called her again and asked if he could stay with her.
Prior to his arrival, the victim gave a neighbor her wallet, credit cards, pin numbers and her identification with the instructions to give the items to her mother if anything happened to her.
On Sept. 29 around 6 a.m., the defendant called 911 and stated that he awoke to the sound of a thump and found Pender on the floor. Rivers allegedly said that the 911 responder instructed him to perform CPR and as he was doing chest compressions, he heard a pop. Emergency responders pronounced Pender dead at the scene.
Pender’s death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner and an autopsy allegedly showed that the victim’s cause of death was manual strangulation.
Rivers allegedly told police that he didn’t have a reason to kill her, but added that the victim had stolen checks intended for him, disrespected his mother and had him locked up on trumped up domestic abuse charges.
A 48-year-old Richmond Hill man has been arrested in the death of a 42-year-old homeless man in Richmond Hill on Aug. 19, police said.
Around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 19, police responded to a 911 call of a wounded man in front of 103-26 135th St. Upon arrival, police observed Karnail Singh, who does not have a place of residence, unconscious and unresponsive with trauma about the body. EMS responded to the location and transported Singh to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Aug. 21.
Police have arrested Junior Bingham, who lives at the address in front of which the incident occurred, and he has been charged with assault and reckless endangerment.