2016-02-24 / Front Page

Woodside Murder Suspect Guilty, Faces Life In Prison

By Liz Goff
A man charged in strangulation death of a 62-year-old Woodside resident is facing life in prison when he is sentenced in April.

Prosecutors said Raymond Epps and the victim, Wayne Graves, met at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan in October 2011.

Epps returned to Woodside with Graves and stayed at his apartment in the Berkeley Co-Op Towers at 52-40 39th Drive in Woodside for several days, authorities said. 

Epps went back to Woodside on October 16, 2001 and illegally entered Graces’ apartment, strangled Graves, and fled with the victim’s cash, credit cards and other personal items, authorities said.

A friend of Graves went to the apartment on October 19, 2011 and asked the building superintendent for access to the apartment, authorities said. The friend said he was worried about Graves, because he had been unable to reach him for almost two days, authorities said.

The superintendent called 911 and police from the NYPD Emergency Service Unit found Graves, lying dead in bathtub with severe head trauma and signs of strangulation.

Queens detectives released information on a suspect wanted for questioning in Graves’ death after the city Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide.

Epps was arrested shortly after Queens detectives found that Graves’ credit card had been used by a man in Boston, whose description matched that of their suspect.

Epps was subsequently arrested and charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, criminal possession of stolen property and grand larceny. He was found guilty of the charges on January 28 and is facing 25-years-to-life at his sentencing.

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