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Man arrested on charges of ’00 Richmond Hill slay

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Police charged a Jamaica man Friday night with the December 2000 murder of a 48-year-old Richmond Hill man and were looking into the possibility that the dead man’s former wife ordered the killing, law enforcement sources and court papers said.

Omdutt Singh, 22, of 104-36 138th St., was arrested shortly before midnight on charges he was one of two perpetrators who killed Balram Singh at his 94-18 131st St. house in Richmond Hill on Dec. 23 2000, police said.

At least one other suspect in the murder of Singh, an immigrant from Guyana, remained at large, court papers said. Police were also investigating whether the killing was a contract murder set up by Singh’s ex-wife, law enforcement sources said.

Omdutt Singh and the unapprehended suspect broke into the house, held Balram Singh down and slashed him on his chest and neck, police and a complaint filed in Queens Criminal Court said. He was found lying face up in his bedroom around 6:30 p.m. after his ex-wife called police and said she had not heard from him for a long period of time, police said.

The two suspects had poured beer and white powder in the vicinity of Singh’s body and planted two vials of crack on him to make the death appear drug related, police and the complaint said.

Omdutt Singh was charged with murder, burglary and tampering with physical evidence, the complaint said.

He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Aug. 10 and was ordered held without bail by Queens Criminal Court Judge Barry Kron, said a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Singh’s attorney, Thomas Sheehan, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Neighbors said at the time that Balram Singh was a quiet man who tended to his yard and kept the block clean. They said his ex-wife had not lived with him for some time.

As of press time, police were continuing with their investigation. A spokesman for the Queens district attorney’s office declined to comment on the case.

Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

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