2009-07-24 / Front Page

Beach 44 Murder Mystery Solved

By Nicholas Briano

More than a year and a half after the brutal murder of Radgas Binea, whose body was found after he was beaten to death underneath the Beach 44 Street train station, police say they have made an arrest in the case.

Police have made an arrest in the murder of Radgas Binea, 30, who was found near the stairs to the Beach 44 Street subway station on January 18, 2008.
The defendant, Richard Phipps, 20, of 667 Nasby Place, was arrested last week in connection with the crime and later confessed to the murder of Binea, according to court sources. In the early morning hours of January 14, 2008, the 30-year old victim was beaten, choked and dragged down the subway stairs.

It is unclear what sparked the assault, but police say that the defendant admitted to punching Binea in the face on the elevated platform, causing him to fall. That is when Phipps allegedly grabbed the victim by the neck, dragged him under the stairs to the subway platform, choked him and slammed his head to the ground numerous times.

According to court documents, Phipps then witnessed Binea's eyes roll to the back of his head as his dead body lay motionless beneath the elevated train station. In an effort to hide the evidence, Phipps told police, he then burned the clothes he was wearing at the time of the incident because he was scared and had the victim's blood on him.

The body was first discovered by a rush hour commuter later that morning, but police place the time of the incident between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Police arrived on the scene at 8:30 a.m. after the commuter called 911, and began searching the area for clues. Police, however, did not immediately classify the incident as a homicide, nor was there a clear motive or any definitive indication of what had occurred. Initial reports had speculated robbery or murder or even suicide.

Phipps was arraigned on July 14 and released on $200,000 bail. He has been charged with first degree manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence. He is expected back in court on July 28.

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