Teens get 11, 17 years in deliveryman slay

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Two southeast Queens teenagers who pleaded guilty to their roles in the fatal beating of a Chinese food deliveryman were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 11 to 17 years in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens Wednesday as the victim’s widow wailed and begged for harsher punishment.

Jamel Murphy, 18, of 219-05 131st Ave. in Springfield Gardens, drew 11 years in prison for robbing Jin Sheng Liu, 44, of 192-15 Linden Blvd. in St. Albans in September 2000 as three other teens held Liu down and hit him repeatedly with a brick.

Stacy Royster, 19, of 257-52 148th Dr. in Rosedale, also pleaded guilty to robbery charges and received 17 years in prison.

Murphy and Royster were the last of the five teenagers involved in Liu’s attack to be sentenced before Justice Robert Hanophy. Hanophy chastised the pair, being particularly harsh with his words for Royster.

“Of all the people here, you have the toughest road of all because you still don’t get it,” he said.

He also told Murphy that “you, of all people, have shown the most contrition here. I believe something can still be made of your life.”

Murphy, Royster and three other teenagers, who are also from southeast Queens, ordered $60 worth of food from Liu, owner of the Golden Wok Restaurant on Linden Boulevard in St. Albans. Royster, who placed the call using her cellular phone, asked for the food to be delivered to an abandoned house at 130-19 176th St. in Springfield Gardens.

Once Liu arrived, the teens pushed him to the ground, threw a sheet over him, and one teen, just 14 at the time, hit him in the head with a brick.

James Stone, 17, of 176-31 130th Ave. in Jamaica, and Darryl Tyson, 18, of 132-07 178th St. in Jamaica, both pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery. Stone was sentenced to 16 years in prison and Tyson got 17 years. Robert Savage, 16, of 177-03 130th Ave., Jamaica, who admitted to wielding the brick, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to seven years to life in prison.

Royster maintained that she was unaware of her friends’ plan to kill the deliveryman. “I didn’t know they were going to hurt that man,” she told the judge. “If I had known that I would not have called him.”

Liu’s widow, Bao Zhu Chen, 38, spoke at Royster’s sentencing and cried as she begged for Hanophy to impose a tougher sentence.

“She should be in jail forever,” Chen said, pointing at Royster. “She’s really the one who caused all of this.”

The judge called the teenagers’ action “an act of moral bankruptcy” and said they both deserved life sentences, expressing regret that his hands were tied by legal limits set by the state.

Chen was forced to close the restaurant less than a month after Liu’s death, and she and her children, Yonjie, 20, and Ziju, 18 were living in a makeshift apartment behind the restaurant. Since then, she has received donations and help from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Community Assistance Unit to cut red tape and get the family into the Pomonok Houses in Flushing.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at, or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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