2008-07-04 / Top Stories

Son, 11, Key Witness In Edgemere Homicide

By Nicholas Briano

The trial for the murder of an Edgemere father who was killed in front of his sons, opened in Queens Supreme Court last week, with the youngest son of the slain man, now 11 years old, acting as the key witness and the only link between the killer and his father.

Carl Murray, also known as Carl Meek Jr., 35, was fatally shot at the corner of Beach Channel Drive and Beach 54 Street in April of 2005. He was declared dead on arrival at the Peninsula Hospital Center, police said at the time.

Sources say that Murray was sitting in his 2004 blue BMW with his two sons, 15-and 7-years-of-age, when a man walked up to the front of the car and shot a semi-automatic pistol to fire five shots through the windshield.

The 15-year-old drove his dying father to the emergency room at Peninsula Hospital Center, only blocks away.

The seven year-old, Carlmique Belnavis, who watched in horror as his father was shot twice in the chest, had identified the killer as Corey Whitlock, 31.

After a long search, Whitlock was arrested for the murder and is now standing trial.

Even though the 15-year-old son was also in the car during the shooting, and Belnavis' grandfather and uncle were nearby. The seven year old is the only witness who was able to identify his father's killer.

Sources said Murray was the enforcer for his father - a notorious community figure who was widely known as "Preacher." Police and community sources said Preacher has long been associated with Far Rockaway's criminal underground.

"Carl was Preacher's muscle," said a police source, who described Murray as a "hard core gangster."

Records show Murray was arrested at least five times, most recently in 2003.

At the time of the killing police sources speculated that the incident was drug-related. Community sources, however said it may have been sparked by a persistent HIV/AIDS rumor that started earlier that year, with many local women angered that Murray had the disease and failed to reveal it to his sexual partners.

Whitlock faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on the top charges, murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

The trial is expected to continue after the Independence Day holiday.

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