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Homeless man murders kindhearted person who let him sleep in his home

By Mason White 1:54 PM January 30, 2015
Homeless man illustration 

By: Mahesh Sarin
A homeless man was arrested, charged and convicted of murder after killing a kindhearted person who let him sleep in his home, prosecutors in New York said.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that 58-year-old Raymond Epps of Boston, Massachusetts, has been found guilty in connection with the strangulation and robbery of a Woodside man, who had given him a place to stay.

“The defendant repaid his benefactor’s generous act of kindness by strangling him in his own home and then stealing his credit cards, which he used to buy a bus ticket back to Boston and various merchandise which he traded for drugs. His actions warrant a lengthy prison sentence to punish him and protect society,” District Attorney Brown said.

Epps, who has been held without bail since his arrest, was convicted of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fourth-degree grand larceny following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak.

Epps faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

According to the police investigation, Epps met his victim, Wayne Graves, 62, at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and stayed with him at his Berkeley Towers apartment in Woodside, Queens.

A friend of the victim, Gerard Torre, testified that he visited the apartment, and that Epps introduced himself, saying that he needed a place to stay and was staying a few nights with Graves, who needed a walker for mobility.

Torre visited for about 90 minutes and left. The following day Torre repeatedly called Graves by phone, but there was no answer.

The next morning, Torre went to the apartment and when no one answered, he had the building’s super open the door. Graves’ body was discovered in the bathtub and his death was ruled as the result of strangulation.

Evidence introduced at trial revealed that hours earlier that day, Epps used the victim’s credit card to purchase a bus ticket to Boston.

Epps used the victim’s credit cards in Boston to buy merchandise from various stores, which he then used to trade for crack cocaine.

A prostitute who shopped with Epps, testified that he had used the victim’s credit cards and that he had traded the purchases for crack cocaine, which the two of them smoked.