Today’s news:

LI man gets 32 1/2 years for South Jamaica slaying

The man convicted of killing a Forest Hills husband and father on a South Jamaica street two years ago was sentenced last week to spend 32 1/2 years in prison for the murder of the telephone card salesman, authorities said.

"The defendant's crime of opportunity took the life of a man whose loss is mourned by his wife, two sons, twin brother and sister," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.

The 22-year-old convicted man, Kevin Whyte of Wyandanch, was found guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and tampering with physical evidence for the robbery and killing of Robert Sheridan, 45, a Forest Hills man selling telephone cards in South Jamaica.

Sheridan was murdered while making his usual rounds near the corner of 177th Street and 106th Avenue in South Jamaica, an area that was once one of the most notorious blocks in southeast Queens, known for being drug-infested and crime-ridden.

After entering a convenience store to sell phone cards, Sheridan was accosted. In a scuffle over his merchandise, which he carried in a duffel bag, Sheridan was shot once in the torso and died later at a hospital.

Whyte, who was convicted after a 2 1/2-week jury trial, stole Sheridan's duffel bag with $6,000 worth of phone cards but later dropped it because it was too heavy, according to trial testimony.

Judge Robert J. Hanophy imposed the sentence on Whyte last Thursday in Kew Gardens. Assistant District Attorney Barry Weinrib of the district attorney's Homicide Trials Bureau prosecuted the case.

Reach reporter Michelle Han by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.


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