2006-09-08 / Front Page

Hammels Man Convicted In Friend's Slaying

By Brian Magoolaghan


A Hammels man was found guilty last Thursday of slaying a 20-year-old friend in front of a bodega near the housing development in Rockaway Beach, according to an announcement from Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Shatell Spurgeon, 26, faces up to 25 years in prison after a jury of seven women and five men found him guilty of first degree manslaughter and second degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to Brown. The jury deliberated for five and a half hours before returning the verdict.

"The defendant has been convicted by a jury of his peers of taking the life of a young man who was also his friend," Brown said. "His actions warrant the imposition of a lengthy prison sentence to ensure that he is severely punished for this senseless act and to protect society."

Brown said that on the night of April 22, 2001, Spurgeon, of 85-02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and his intended victim, 22-year-old Alvin Briggs, had an argument on Beach 86 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. As Briggs walked away to get in his car, he noticed Spurgeon reach into his waistband. As Briggs drove off, he heard a single gunshot and saw his passenger, Damon Waiter, 20, bleeding and shaking. The shot Spurgeon fired went through the car's rear window and struck Waiter in the head.

Waiter died at Peninsula Hospital Center two hours later.

Spurgeon, who was on the lam for two years, was caught June 17, 2003 by NYPD detectives in upstate Binghamton.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Mark H. Spires set a sentencing date of September 15.

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