The 73-year-old man accused of bludgeoning his 61-year-old girlfriend to death last month was charged with second degree murder, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced today.
“The defendant is accused of fatally bludgeoning the woman with whom he shared an apartment and a life together and then fleeing the scene without telling anyone what he had done until many hours after,” Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown said. “He now faces serious charges that could lead to him spending the rest of his life behind bars if convicted.”
According to Brown, the suspect Chitwash Tse and the victim Huizhen Zhan shared a two-bedroom apartment on 65th Avenue with a third individual.
On Aug. 1 at around 7:15 p.m., it is alleged that an individual identifying himself as Garo Kapikian Esq., called the NYPD 107th Precinct to report that a new client walked into his office and reported a corpse in the basement apartment at the address. Police were able to access the apartment though a front door – the back was locked – and there was no sign of forced entry and both bedroom doors were locked.
In the apartment, police located a body lying in the bed of the rear bedroom, covered in a sheet and soaked in blood. There was reportedly blood on the walls and ceiling and broken glass on the bed. The body, which was also covered in lacerations, was identified as Zhan.
On August 2, the medical examiner’s office ruled the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.
The next day, on August 3, the NYPD’s hostage negotiation team was called to the law office of Kapikian after a report that Tse had climbed over the 22nd floor balcony and onto an adjoining I-beam, threatening to jump. After approximately four hours of negotiations, Tse was taken into custody. He was observed with lacerations on his fingers, hands and chest and transported from the scene to Bellevue Hospital.
Tse was charged with second-degree murder and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.