2016-05-25 / Front Page

25-Years To Life For Astoria Rage Stabber

By Liz Goff
A 39-year-old Astoria man was sentenced on May 16 to 25-years to life in prison for stabbing a man to death in 2012, during a booze-fueled dispute at his Steinway Street apartment.

A Queens jury found Wahid Elawame guilty of second-degree murder on April 6 in the gruesome death of Mirwan Said, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Prosecutors said Said, 28, was fighting with Elawame inside an apartment on Steinway Street near 28th Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. on May 4, 2012 when Said tried to leave the apartment with Samy Abirham, 47, and his brother Mahmoed, 50.

Elawame became enraged and refused to let the men leave, prosecutors said. When the men tried for a second time to leave, Elawame pulled a knife and repeatedly stabbed Said in the chest and hands, prosecutors said.

Samy and Mahmoed Abriham escaped the bloodshed by jumping from a window at the apartment, landing on the roof of the Layali Beruit nightclub located on the ground floor of a nearby building 

Police who arrived at the apartment found Said in a pool of blood on the living room floor, prosecutors said. Elawame was sitting on a sofa near the body, calmly puffing on a cigarette when police arrived.

Elawame was arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon. He was held without bail at his arraignment at Queens Criminal Court and remained behind bars until his sentencing.

Samy and Mahmoed Abriham told police they believed that Elawame stabbed Said because he refused to help Elawame in a plot to kill the brothers.

Samy Abriham, who co-owned Layali Beirut at the time of the murder, told investigators he had to call police twice in the week before the murder, after Elawame threatened to kill him and his two brothers.

A check of a computer-generated phone log showed that police at the 114th Precinct had no calls to the Steinway Street nightclub over a four-week period leading up to the murder.

The brothers told investigators they hired Elawame as a handyman in early 2012, shortly after he moved into the Steinway Street apartment. The brothers said Elawame became enraged when things didn’t work out and they had to fire him.

“This was an especially violent crime in which the defendant refused to allow tree men who were visiting him in his apartment leave,” Brown said. “Last month a jury convicted the defendant and the court has now sentenced him to a lengthy term behind bars that will protect society and punish him for needlessly killing another man.”



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