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Long IslandCrime

Indictment in 2016 killing of Hempstead man in Queens, DA says

An Astoria man has been indicted on a charge of murder in the slaying of a Hempstead man on a Queens street last year in an apparent dispute over drugs, officials said.

Robert Sasso, 35, shot Richard Brown, 51, outside a motel on Linden Place in Flushing at 11:30 a.m. on July 27, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Brown was taken to New York Hospital Queens, where he was pronounced dead, officials said at the time.

A news release from the prosecutor on Thursday gave no motive, but police said at the time the shooting appeared to be related to drugs and that Brown had 30 prior arrests for drug offenses.

Sasso was arraigned Wednesday on murder and weapons charges and was ordered held without bail, prosecutors said.

“Gun violence has no place in a civilized society,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in the news release.

“The defendant in this case was having an argument with the victim, and allegedly settled the dispute with a single gunshot to the right side of the man’s head when he bent to tie his shoe,” the prosecutor said. “If convicted, the defendant will be locked away to protect the public.”

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