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Quentin Capobianco arraigned on murder charge in beating death of roommate, Jesse Smith

An argument between roommates in Queens left one, a 29-year-old lawyer and Sea Cliff native, dead and the other accused of beating him to death with a hammer, police said.

Quentin Capobianco, 18, was arraigned last night in a Queens criminal court in connection with the Monday beating death of Jesse Smith, police said.

Capobianco was charged with second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use, officials said.

NYPD officers found Smith with a severe head injury after they responded to a call at the Astoria apartment the men shared, authorities said.

Capobianco told officers he and Smith had been in an ongoing dispute over money, a police spokesman said Tuesday night. His bail was set at $250,000 bond or $125,000 cash. He is scheduled to return to court Jan. 30.

Smith was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival, police said. Capobianco was later taken into custody, police said.

Smith's father, Richard Smith of Massachusetts, said his son graduated in 2003 from North Shore High School in Glen Head. He said his son and Capobianco lived together for "a few months."

Jesse Smith, a Hofstra University law school graduate, had hired Capobianco to work with him in his fledgling law practice, his father said.

Police did not release data on where Capobianco lived before moving in with Jesse Smith.

Capobianco's LinkedIn page lists Jesse Smith as his employer and lists his alma mater as North Shore High School. The page also says he was studying economics at St. John's University.

Richard Smith said his son wanted to become a defense lawyer, had a magnetic personality and loved to ski. "It's a most unbearable sadness that we don't have him anymore," Smith said.

With Alison Fox

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