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L.I. killer convicted in Elmhurst stabbing

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A Long Island man who made a nasty comment to a woman outside an Elmhurst nightclub and then killed her boyfriend when he tried to defend her was found guilty of murder last Thursday, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

After a nine-day trial in Queens Supreme Court, presided over by Justice Richard Butcher, John Lundi, 26, was convicted of murder, two counts of gang assault, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence for the November 2008 crime, the DA said. The West Babylon, L.I., man’s sentencing is set for Oct. 11, and he faces 40 years to life in prison, the DA said.

Brothers Adam and Alex Hawrylkiewicz, 22, and Sarah Kurman, 22, also made guilty pleas in connection with the assault, the DA said.

On Nov. 27, 2008, Brooklyn resident Christopher Cotto and his girlfriend Tiffany Lebron were leaving the Krystal Club, at 79-09 Queens Blvd., before 4 a.m., the DA said. After Lundi made a remark to Lebron, Cotto tried to punch Lundi, the DA said. In response, Lebron punched Lundi so hard he hit the ground, and Lundi’s friends joined the fight, the DA said.

Lundi stabbed Cotto eight times with a butterfly knife in the fray, the DA said.

“Such a senseless act of violence demonstrates that he is a threat to society and deserving of a lengthy prison sentence,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.

Two NYPD officers also saw Adam and Alex Hawrylkiewicz beating Cotto, causing blunt force injuries, the DA said. Police found the butterfly knife in a limousine Lundi and others had used that night, and found two razor blades and a box cutter in front of the nightclub, the DA said.

The Hawrylkiewicz brothers, also of West Babylon, pleaded guilty to gang assault Aug. 16, the DA said. Kurman, also a West Babylon resident, pleaded guilty to attempted gang assault Dec. 7, the DA said. The Hawrylkiewicz brothers and Kurman are awaiting sentences, the DA said. The brothers face up to 15 years in prison and Kurman faces up to seven years, the DA said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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