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A Jamaica man pleaded guilty Friday to murdering a 74-year-old neighbor and Allen A.M.E. Church choir member during a burglary at her home in February 2000, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Duane Brown, 20, of 167-14 Foch Blvd., pleaded guilty to murder in the first and second degrees in the death of Lillian Hollingsworth, a retired city social worker who lived on 169th Street in South Jamaica, just a few blocks away from the defendants home, the district attorney said.
Brown also pleaded guilty to burglary, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and tampering with physical evidence in Kew Gardens State Supreme Court Friday.
His sentencing was scheduled for May 16 and State Supreme Court Judge Robert Hanophy indicated Friday that he would sentence Brown to a term of 30 years to life in prison, the DA said.
This was a terrifying and vicious crime perpetrated against Mrs. Lillian Hollingsworth, a beloved member of the Jamaica community, in her own home during the middle of the night, he said.
Hollingsworth had friends not only in her church but also at two neighborhood senior centers. Margaret Singleton-Beldon, the director of the Allen Senior Community Center on Linden Boulevard, said the seniors still reminisce and talk about Hollingsworth.
They do miss her dearly, Singleton-Beldon said. She was cheerful, full of fun, and she loved to play bridge.
Singleton-Beldon said Hollingsworth stopped by the center two to three times a day and went to another nearby center as well.
According to the DA, the defendant entered Hollingsworths home at about 1:30 a.m. Feb. 16, 2000, to steal whatever valuables he could find.
Hollingsworth was awakened by a noise on her landing and got out of bed to find an intruder crouching with a knife. She screamed and he began stabbing her, the DA said.
The defendant took the keys to her car and fled in her gray Hyundai. Police traced the vehicle, which led to the arrest of Brown the next day, the district attorney said.
Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2001 Community Newspaper Group
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