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St. Albans man guilty in 1999 rap rivalry murder

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In a case of mistaken identity, a St. Albans man was convicted last week in the shooting death of a man he believed to be involved in the murder of the front man of the rap group Lost Boyz.

After three days of deliberation, a jury in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens found Corey Bussey, 26, of 114-36 209th St. guilty of murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the March 31, 1999 shooting death of Roderick Paget, 21.

Paget was gunned down in South Ozone Park three days after the murder of Rochdale Village native and Lost Boyz’s frontman Raymond Rogers, also known as Freaky Tah. Bussey was to be sentenced on April 3 and faces 25 years to life. He is currently serving a sentence of nine years in jail on an unrelated drug charge.

Queens Assistant District Attorney Eugene Reibstein said he was very gratified with the verdict because it was a “cold-blooded murder.” He said now Bussey will have to answer for his actions.

Bussey, a friend of the Lost Boyz, shot Paget because he had seen him hanging with the rival rap group — Hell Razor Pham.

According to trial testimony before Judge Mark Spires, Paget was approached by two men around 11:15 p.m. at 111th Avenue and 128th Street as he crossed the street. After Paget started to run, the two men began shooting at him. Paget tried to jump a fence and became entangled. The two men then shot him several times in the head, side, arm and leg.

There was no information on the second man and the Queens DA’s office said no one else currently was being prosecuted in the case.

“The crime in which a young man, Roderick Paget, was shot six times and mortally wounded can only be described as an execution,” said Queens DA Richard Brown. “The defendant’s conviction ensures that justice has been done and that the defendant will be punished for his violent and dangerous conduct. Hopefully, the verdict will bring a measure of solace for the Paget Family.”

Rogers was killed by Kevin Jones on March 28, 1999. Jones was a friend of a rival rap group — Hell Razor Pham — and pleaded guilty in July to the murder. The district attorney said Jones shot the rapper whom he mistakenly believed was the relative of a man who shot and killed Jones’ brother.

Jones walked up to Rogers — Freaky Tah — and shot him in the back of the head in front of the Sheraton Hotel near John F. Kennedy International Airport, Brown said. Jones then fired several rounds and jumped back into the minivan in which he and three other men had arrived.

The Lost Boyz, made up of Rogers’ brother and two cousins, reached success in 1996 with a No. 1 gold-selling debut album, “Legal Drug Money.”

The group was known for giving back to the community, hosting barbecues for kids at Rochdale Village Park and starting up a barbershop in an abandoned store in southeast Queens.

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

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