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Crime & Cases March 24, 2011  RSS feed

THREE GUILTY IN NIGHTCLUB DEATH IN L.I.C.

Early Morning Fist Fight Turns Deadly

Three Brooklyn men were convicted on Friday, Mar. 18 in connection with the stabbing death of a 24-year-old man during a brawl outside an Astoria/Long Island City strip club in June 2007, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced.

Anthony A. Matos, 34, of East 3rd Street in Brooklyn, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree gang assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. His brother, Jason Matos, 33, of Bay Parkway, and Lee Taylor, 40, of Mc- Donald Avenue, were convicted of second-degree gang assault.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise, who presided over the three-week jury trial, ordered all three defendants held without bail and set sentencing for Apr. 28. Anthony Matos faces up to 25 years in prison; Jason Matos and Taylor each face up to 15 years in prison.

According to trial testimony, a fist fight with bottles broke out between two groups seated in a VIP section of the Riviera Gentlemen’s Club, located at 34-48 Steinway St. near the Astoria/Long Island City border, in the early morning hours of June 20, 2007.

Although the victim, Jason Brown, was not present at the time, club bouncers ejected Brown and his friends from the club and told the defendants and approximately 10 others, who were all regulars at the club, to remain inside until the victim’s group had left the area.

Instead, the group exited nearby emergency doors where the victim was outside with his friends.

At the trial, jurors heard that a number of fights broke out simultaneously as Anthony Matos punched Brown, which led to a brief exchange of punches between the two before bouncers grabbed the victim and Matos ran into the street.

Thereafter, a crowd of individuals— including Lee Taylor and Jason Matos—allegedly attacked Brown, backing him into the street where he was beaten, kicked and slashed. Seconds later, Anthony Matos was seen running from the corner and crouching over the body of the victim before he fled.

It was further testified that in a diner after the incident, Anthony Matos confessed that he stabbed Brown twice because he got hit in the face, while Taylor admitted that he wiped the knife of prints and threw it in a nearby sewer.

The investigation was led by Det. Victor Herrera and other members of the New York City Police Department’s 114th Precinct Detective Squad.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Debra Lynn Pomodore, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Trials Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, bureau chief, and Jack Warsawsky, deputy bureau chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.