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A young Woodhaven woman was arraigned on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon Sunday after she allegedly stabbed her half brother, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
Frank Fortuna, 20, was found Friday evening at around 5:24 p.m. with a stab wound in his neck inside the apartment he and his sister Yoearis Diaz, 18, shared in a house on 88th Street and 89th Avenue, police said. Fortuna was taken to Jamaica Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to the NYPD.
Diaz was arrested the next day and charged with murder, police said.
Bryant Aracena, 19, said Fortuna and Diaz lived with another brother, Kelvin, and their mother, who was often away in the Dominican Republic. Aracena said Diaz worked as a bartender and in a nightclub and mentioned that Fortuna liked boxing.
He said the siblings had a turbulent relationship.
“One moment they would be really friendly with each other and the next they would be fighting,” Aracena said.
Richard Smith, secretary for the 102nd Precinct Community Council and a neighbor of the siblings, said he had often heard loud disputes coming from the house.
“You drive by you can hear their arguing,” Smith said “They left open the door.”
Patrick Bolden, 17, who had been friendly with Fortuna for about four to five years, said he was shocked by the killing.
“He was a good person,” he said.
But Spiro Ferris, Diaz’s Manhattan lawyer, painted a much different picture of Fortuna. He said the argument that led to Fortuna’s death began after Fortuna falsely accused Diaz of stealing his cellphone. The argument escalated to the point where Diaz felt she needed to defend herself.
“It was never her intention to kill her half-brother,” Ferris said.
The attorney described Fortuna as a “belligerent, hostile, aggressive person.” He also said Fortuna had gang affiliations and terrorized his sister and mother.
“It’s a very tragic situation,” Ferris said. “No one comes out a winner out of this incident.”
Rana Rahman, 43, another neighbor, said he saw Fortuna and Diaz sometimes in the mornings, although he did not talk much with them. He said as a father with children he found the incident scary, and he hoped something could be done to prevent such a situation from happening again.
“It’s not good for the neighborhood,” Rahman said.
Smith said the precinct needed more cops, although he said it was difficult to prevent a senseless domestic dispute like this one.
“She couldn’t stab him in the shoulder and make the same point?” Smith asked.
Diaz’s next court date is Sept. 21.
The 102nd Precinct had two previous murders in 2012, according to police statistics. The precinct — which encompasses Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens — recorded six homicides in 2011.
Additional reporting was done by Christina Santucci.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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