It was nearly 3 1/2 months ago that her son, Jasper Rhodes, was killed, and Pam Richardson of South Ozone Park cannot help but be reminded of him every day.
"He had three beautiful children and they all look like him," she said in an interview. That keeps his memory fresh in her mind, she said.
Authorities said Rhodes, 24, was shot and killed during a robbery attempt on Oct. 26 at the home of his alleged killer, Lesly Seide, 20, of Hollis.
Seide was arrested last week and charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees. Police have not found the accomplice believed to have acted with Seide.
Richardson said she had no idea why her son, a jaunty man who enjoyed the company of women and friends, was killed. She said she knew little about his companions and did not know the details of what her son was doing the night he died.
Police said Rhodes was shot several times in the abdomen and died later at Mary Immaculate Hospital after the robbery attempt. He was at the suspect's home on 217th Street in Hollis when he was shot shortly after 9 p.m., said Officer Joseph Cavitolo, a police spokesman.
Police said they were still investigating the murder and would not discuss the circumstances surrounding Rhodes' death or why he was at the home of his alleged killer.
"They very well could have known each other," Cavitolo said.
Seide later confessed to police that he and another suspect shot the Rhodes after stealing money from him, said Detective Andrew Copertino of the 105th Precinct in a deposition taken by the Queens district attorney's office.
Rhodes' mother, Richardson, said she has found comfort in the company of her grandchildren and in her Christian faith.
"That's the only relief I have. To give thanks to the Lord and take it one day at a time," she said. "That's what you have to do."
"All of us are coping with this the best way we can," she added. Her eldest grandson, Jayquan, is 7 and is going through therapy to help deal with the loss of his father. His two other children, a 1-year-old son Jumar and a newborn daughter, Jayd, are too young to understand their father was killed, Richardson said.
The children all have separate mothers, Richardson said, and Rhodes never married.
Six years ago, Rhodes graduated "at the top of his class" from a Brooklyn high school, Richardson said, and went to work immediately as an apartment maintenance man, then for ABC Carpet and McDonalds. She said he had planned to open his own retail clothing store.
"He was a loving father and a loving son," Richardson said, growing tearful. "And his mother is going crazy because she lost her best friend. That's what he was to me, my best friend."
©2000 Community News Group
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