Thursday, June 25, 2009

Arrest in Murder of Forest Hills Man

Suspect in 65th Ave Crime Nabbed in Massachusetts

A Bronx man was taken into custody in Massachusetts and charged in the murder of a Forest Hills man found dead in his apartment last week.

The nude body of 38-year-old Michael Pecora was found late last Wednesday inside his apartment on 65th Avenue. The gruesome discovery was made by the building super, who climbed onto the fire escape to gain access to the apartment after Pecora’s family and co-workers became concerned about his well-being after he didn’t show up for work.

After seeing Pecora’s lifeless body through a window, the super immediately called police, according to reports. Officers entered the apartment and found Pecora with multiple stab wounds. There were no signs of forced entry at the blood-soaked crime scene.

Last Thursday, police arrested Alexys Fermaintt, 30, of East Tremont after investigators tracked him to his mother’s house in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He was arraigned last Friday in Queens Criminal Court and ordered held without bail. He is due back in court on July 2 to face charges of second-degree murder.

Police linked Fermaintt to the crime after learning that a cab driver had picked him up Wednesday night outside Pecora’s apartment and drove him to the Bronx. While en route, Fermaintt told the driver he didn’t have any money and offered him a watch and cell phone instead. The cab driver later told police that he remembered the passenger carrying an item resembling a computer when he exited the cab.

Investigators then used information from the cell phone to track down a relative of Fermaintt, who was later taken into custody without incident. Pecora’s computer was found in another Holyoke apartment that police believe is Fermaintt’s primary home. Police are investigating the theory the men met online and that Fermaintt stole the computer in an effort to cover his tracks.

Pecora was a graduate of the University of Tampa and worked for MasterCard. His neighbors described him as a good man and expressed shock that such a brutal crime occurred in the quiet neighborhood. “I feel sick because [he was] such a nice young fellow,” one resident told reporters. “Very, very nice guy. I feel sorry for him,” said another.

Update: On Thursday, the Queens District Attorney's Office release information regarding statements Fermaintt allegedly made to investigators in Massachusetts following his arrest.

According to a Notice of Statement filed with the court at Fermaintt's arraignment, he told a detective that he met Pecora online and the pair had a disagreement over the amount of money that Pecora was going to give Fermaintt to sleep with him and spend the day together. Fermaintt then admitted in the videotaped statement to stabbing Pecora and taking his cellphone, computer and watch.

Fermaintt later told another detective that Pecora had grabbed a knife and tried to stab him, at which time Fermaintt grabbed the knife and stabbed the victim four times.

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