Downtown Express photo by Bob Arihood
A fire raged at Masaryk Tower last week after a man shot and killed his son and set a fire in his apartment, killing himself and a relative.
Double murder and suicide
A resident of Masaryk Tower on the Lower East Side last week slashed and shot his wife and her nephew and then shot his son to death before igniting a gas explosion in their 21st floor apartment where he and a niece were burned to death.
The suspect, Lun Bao Zhang, 44, began quarreling violently with his wife, Chou Ying Chan, 43, when she came home to their apartment at 87 Columbia St. at about 8 p.m. March 16 with her nephew, Da Cheng Chan, 29, and her son, Jin Jie Ya, 19, according to police.
Zhang began firing a .22 caliber revolver, hitting the 29-year-old nephew twice before the nephew fled the apartment, then hitting his son twice in the torso and hitting his wife on the left side before slashing her in the head, police said. When Chou Ying Chan failed to rouse her son, she too fled the apartment where her niece, Xao Ying Chan, 27, was hiding in another room. The suspect then ignited the explosion in which he and the niece died of burns and smoke inhalation, according to the Medical Examiners office.
The son died of the gunshot wounds; his death and Xao Ying Chans death were ruled homicides and the suspects death was a suicide, the Medical Examiner said.
Seventeen firefighters were injured in the fire that destroyed the apartment, according to the fire department.
A grand jury last week indicted the office manager of a Downtown law firm for grand larceny in connection with the theft of $1.2 million over the past three years.
The defendant, Carol Ruiz, 44, of Brooklyn, worked as a personal assistant to Nathan L. Dembin and had nearly complete control of financial and administrative aspects of the Dembin law office at 225 Broadway, according to District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
The theft was discovered when Dembin learned he had been briefly disbarred for failing to respond to an inquiry from the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, according to the indictment. An inquiry that revealed that Ruiz had forged checks and falsified check registry entries to conceal the thefts, according to the March 18 indictment.
Ruiz was indicted on one count of first degree grand larceny, punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and 88 counts of second degree forgery, plus seven counts of first degree falsifying business records.
Lil Kim perjury
A Manhattan federal jury found Lil Kim, the rap star, guilty on three counts of perjury and one count of conspiring to commit perjury, but acquitted her of obstruction of justice last week in connection with her grand jury testimony regarding a 2001 shooting outside of 395 Hudson St., the home of the Hip Hop radio station, Hot 97.
Lil Kim (Kimberly Jones), 30, facing a maximum prison term of 20 years, is to be sentenced June 24. But her attorney, Mel Sachs, said this week he intends to appeal. Kims co-defendant, Mo Betta (Monique Dopwell) was found guilty of two perjury counts and one count of conspiring to commit perjury.
Kim had told a grand jury that she did not know two suspects in the 2001 shooting, Suif Jackson and Damion Butler, who both subsequently pleaded guilty and are serving prison terms. The trial jury of five women and seven men deliberated 13 hours over three days before finding on March 17 that Kim had lied 29 times during three appearances before the grand jury.