A former international fugitive who shot a teenage wedding guest to death in Hicksville in 1999 after a dance floor dispute pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder and assault, the Nassau district attorney’s office said.
Balkumar Singh, believed to be 38, is expected to serve 19 years to life in prison for the slaying of Abzal Khan, 19, according to prosecutors.
Singh’s guilty plea in Nassau County Court followed his extradition last summer from Trinidad after about 16 years on the run, prosecutors said.
“We feel that justice was served and I am happy that he has admitted that he did the act,” said the victim’s father, Inshanallie Khan, 63, of Kew Gardens.
He added that while he wished his son’s killer would go to prison for life, he felt at ease after the guilty plea and had kept “faith in the Lord” that justice would be coming. Khan said his son had graduated from Richmond Hill High School and was preparing to start college when he died.
Authorities said Singh, who was featured in a 2009 episode of the TV show “America’s Most Wanted,” fled the United States within days of the June 13, 1999 shooting outside a hall that also left a 22-year-old man with a gunshot wound to a foot. He used multiple aliases during his time as a fugitive and traveled to Canada and Guyana before his arrest in Trinidad, authorities said.
Nassau Supervising Judge Christopher Quinn said he would give Singh 19 years to life in prison at his Dec. 12 sentencing, according to defense attorney Andrew Monteleone.
“My client wanted to own up to what he did. He’s very remorseful. He’s a different person than he was 17 years ago,” the Mineola lawyer said of Singh.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas released a statement saying Khan’s killer “will now be held responsible for this despicable murder.”
Singas’ office said authorities in Trinidad nabbed Singh after a tip in March 2015, and Nassau police worked with federal marshals to bring the man back to the United States that August.