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Qns.Village teen kills stepbrother with hug: City

Ushane Thompson, 10, of 209-42 111th Rd. in Queens Village was found unconscious in his bedroom by his...

By Adam Kramer

A 14-year-old Queens Village boy has been arrested in the death of his 10-year-old stepbrother after the two boys were roughhousing, police said.

Ushane Thompson, 10, of 209-42 111th Rd. in Queens Village was found unconscious in his bedroom by his stepbrother — whose name was not released because he is a minor — on Easter Sunday at 8:20 p.m., said Detective Theresa Farello, a Police Department spokeswoman.

She said Thompson was rushed to Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica, where he was declared dead at 9:35 p.m.

Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city’s medical examiner’s office, said the cause of death had not yet been established.

The 14-year-old appeared in family court Tuesday and was released in the custody of his mother and stepfather.

Norman Corenthal, a lawyer with the city’s Corporation Council, said in Queens Family Court the boy grabbed his 10-year-old brother from behind in a bear hug wrestling move and squeezed the boy to death. He said preliminary findings have indicated Ushane’s death was caused by asphyxiation.

Corenthal asked the court to send the 14-year-old to a juvenile detention center.

“Were they wrestling? The answer is absolutely no,” Godfrey Brown, the teen’s lawyer, told the court, according to the New York Daily News.

“How much force would a kid have to use to choke a kid around the chest?” he asked. “If someone choked this kid across the chest until he died, it would be evident in the autopsy.”

Farello said the 14-year-old admitted he and his stepbrother were fooling around after originally claiming he had found him unconscious.

The boy’s parents originally told police their son had hit his head earlier in the day. Later reports said the two boys were wrestling.

In a similar case last month in Florida, Lionel Tate, 14, was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison for the death of a 6-year-old girl. Tate, who was 12 at the time, said he was showing off his professional wrestling moves when he threw the girl against the wall.

A police source said Ushane’s mother had sent the boy to his bedroom to get his school clothes ready for Monday morning. The source said that according to the boy’s mother, Thompson had no medical conditions and was not feeling ill.

The source also said Thompson’s father, stepmother and stepbrother talked with detectives at the 105th Precinct Monday night.

Police said they were still investigating the boy’s death.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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