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Queens man charged with murder in Valley Stream robbery-slaying

Relatives of Edwin Lopez, 36, of Oceanside, said

Relatives of Edwin Lopez, 36, of Oceanside, said the convenience store clerk was fatally shot while trying to stop an attempted robbery at the AL Mini Market in Valley Stream on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. Credit: Lopez family

A Queens man was charged by federal authorities Friday with the December slaying of a Valley Stream convenience store clerk during a robbery, officials said.

Jermaine Jackson, 23, of Queens Village, shot the clerk, Edwin Lopez, 36, of Oceanside, after Lopez tried to “push away the gun” pointed at him, according to Eastern District prosecutor Christopher Caffarone.

In court, Caffarone referred to a videotape of the Dec. 16 incident at AL Mini Mart on Ocean Avenue.

Jackson pleaded not guilty to a firearm-related murder charge and six other counts in federal court in Central Islip.

The victim, who was working in the store owned by his brother, was shot five times. Authorities have not said how much was taken in the robbery.

Jackson also pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with a Dec. 9 robbery at V.I.P. Deli on Hillside Avenue in Queens Village. No one was injured in that holdup, officials said.

Authorities said Jackson faces a possible death sentence if convicted of the Lopez robbery-slaying.

Caffarone said the “horrible crime” continues to haunt the victim’s family. Without his earnings, Lopez’s wife and daughter face eviction from their home, the prosecutor said.

The case was solved through the joint efforts of Nassau and New York City police, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to Caffarone.

One of Jackson’s attorneys, Garnett Sullivan of South Hempstead, asked that his client be released on bond, saying he had no previous convictions and family members were willing to guarantee a substantial bond.

But U.S. Magistrate Gary Brown ordered Jackson permanently detained, agreeing with prosecutors that he posed a danger to the community and was a flight risk.

Caffarone had noted that while Jackson was a U.S. citizen, he had relatives in Guyana.

A number of Lopez’s relatives were in the courtroom Friday, but declined to comment later.

Sullivan and Caffarone also declined to comment afterward.

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