2017-04-26 / Front Page

17 Years For Woodside Bash-Murder

By Liz Goff
A 22-year-old Woodside man was sentenced last week to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to brutally bashing a shopkeeper to death with a metal door handle in March 2016, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Cops said Martin Quiej was smoking a cigarette outside his Woodside party store on March 5, 2016, when he came to the aid of an employee who was arguing with a man on Roosevelt Avenue. When another employee asked a drunken, belligerent Victor Mendoza what was going on, Mendoza became increasingly agitated, Brown said.
When the friend retreated into the lobby of a nearby apartment building to protect himself, Mendoza tried to pull the door open, but only succeeded in pulling the metal handle off the door, Brown said.  
Mendoza walked away, swinging the metal door handle at Quiej, who grabbed a metal tent pole to defend himself, Brown said. The two men struggled and Mendoza struck Quiej in the head with the door handle, knocking him to the ground outside the shop. Mendoza then struck Quiej a second time with the handle before dropping it and running away from police who were arriving at the scene.
Quiej was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he died three days later.
Mendoza, who lived just down the block from the attack, was arrested a short while later. He pleaded guilty in March 2017 to manslaughter and was sentenced on April 20 to 17 years in prison, followed by five years of post-release supervision.
“The victim was a young, hardworking family man who had been born in Guatemala and came to this country to make a better life for his family and himself,” Brown said. “Instead, his life was drastically cut short by the defendant who viciously assaulted him.”


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