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Long IslandCrime

Police say Deanna M. Wingender was beaten to death with hammer

Raphael D. Oyague, 36, of Baldwin, is taken

Raphael D. Oyague, 36, of Baldwin, is taken from Nassau County police headquarters in Mineola on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. He was arrested Wednesday and charged in the death of a young woman. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Baldwin man charged with killing a woman after they argued over payment for sex beat the victim to death with a hammer in his apartment before leaving her body nearby, Nassau police said Thursday.

Officers took Raphael D. Oyague, 36, into custody Wednesday after detectives tracked a trail of blood from where the body was found back to the rear door of his apartment, police said at a news conference.

Police on Friday identified the victim as Deanna M. Wingender, 25, of Syosset.

Oyague had contacted the woman on the Craigslist website and arranged to meet her Tuesday at his apartment, said Det. Capt. John Azzata, commanding officer of Nassau’s Homicide Squad.

A car service dropped her off at Oyague’s residence between 6 and 9 p.m., Azzata said. Sometime after 10 p.m., Oyague killed the woman and dumped her body, Azzata said.

The encounter was for sex and “there was supposed to be compensation for that sex,” Azzata said. “There was an argument that ensued, and the subject ultimately hit our victim with a hammer multiple times.”

Oyague pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder Thursday at First District Court in Hempstead and was ordered held without bail. He is scheduled to return to court Monday.

After the hearing, Oyague’s relatives — a man and a woman — declined to comment as they left the courtroom.

Oyague has one felony conviction for violating a court order of protection and three misdemeanors, including one for assault and another for drunken driving, police said.

In addition, court records show a bench warrant had been issued for Oyague on a third-degree misdemeanor assault charge stemming from an August 2012 incident in which papers say he tackled a woman who identified herself in a deposition as his girlfriend.

Oyague also was charged with two counts of second-degree harassment in the incident. He was released on $1,000 bail on Aug. 30, 2012, but failed to appear in court, and the warrant for his arrest was issued in February 2014, court records show.

He is scheduled to appear in First District Court in Hempstead on the assault case Tuesday.

His arrest Wednesday came on the same day authorities said officers responding to a 911 call found Wingender’s body behind a building on 97 Merrick Rd.

A strip of two-story buildings that includes a bar and restaurant, a pizzeria and apartment units line the section of Merrick Road just east of Grand Avenue where the body was discovered.

Heidi Taveras of Rockville Centre, who works at the State Farm office beneath Oyague’s Baldwin apartment, said Thursday she saw Oyague in the building only occasionally. She said she believes he moved into the apartment about two months ago.

“It’s insane. We work here and we use this door to go in and out,” Taveras said, gesturing toward the building’s rear exit through which police said Oyague carried the body.

Shante Jackson, 31, said Thursday that she was returning home from picking up her son from school Wednesday when police at the scene told her about the body.

“It makes you not feel safe at home anymore, for something like this to happen so close by,” said Jackson, a mother of two, who lives in an apartment that overlooks the area where the body was found.

A man who lives next to the house where Oyague’s mother lived until a few years ago said he didn’t know Oyague well.

“It didn’t seem like the type who would bang someone over the head with a hammer,” Dwight McDonald, 42, said.

Police said the body was found by two delivery workers who saw something in the leaves, recognized it as a body, and called 911.

With Gary Dymski


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