Arrest made in killing of homeless man found outside Patchogue church, say cops

Thomas Lamartina, 30, has been arrested and charged

Thomas Lamartina, 30, has been arrested and charged with killing a homeless man outside a church soup kitchen last month in Patchogue, Suffolk County police said, Monday, July 21, 2014. Lamartina is also homeless, police said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

A homeless man has been arrested and charged with killing another homeless man outside a Patchogue church's soup kitchen last month, Suffolk police said Monday.

Thomas Lamartina, 30, was arrested Sunday night and charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Nicholas MacQueen, 65, on June 28, police said.

MacQueen died after being struck in the head with a paving stone, police said Monday.

Police declined to discuss details regarding what might have sparked the deadly attack. They also did not say what led detectives to arrest Lamartina, who is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Central Islip.

MacQueen's body was found outside a church building housing the Emanuel Lutheran School on East Main Street just before 2 p.m. that Saturday.

A church deacon, John Gallaer, told Newsday after the killing that MacQueen "had been around the last couple of weeks" and called his death one of "life's tragedies."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

A parishioner, Sunny Eng, said he found MacQueen's body outside the church while he was helping prepare for Sunday services and for the weekly soup kitchen.

"I'm just extremely sad over the whole situation," Eng, 50, of Holtsville, told Newsday after finding the body.

One soup kitchen guest, Richard Anderson, 61, said last month that MacQueen had started eating there during the winter. He said he didn't know MacQueen well, but said the victim had told him he was a Vietnam War veteran.

"It was horrible . . . the church, the scene of the crime," Anderson said when he learned where MacQueen was found.

"I can't make any sense of it," he said. "He didn't appear to bother anybody or have any bad blood at the church."

With Lauren Harrison, Mackenzie Issler, Ted Phillips and Jennifer Barrios

The best of Newsday every day in your inbox. Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

Comments

Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: