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Hollis man get 25-to-life for killing deliveryman

A jury found an 18-year-old Hollis man guilty of killing a Chinese food deliveryman a few blocks from his home in 1999, the Queens district attorney said.

Rami Merchant, of 100-22 197th St. in Hollis was convicted of murder in the second degree at his trial before State Supreme Court Justice Stanley Katz in Kew Gardens Jan. 23, said DA Richard Brown.

Katz was set to sentence Merchant to a prison term of 25 years to life on Feb. 20, Brown said.

Merchant was convicted for his role in the June 23, 1999 murder of Ng Cheung Cheung, 52, Brown said.

“This was a senseless murder of a man who worked hard to support his family,” Brown said. “There can be no justification for the defendant’s actions.”

According to the charges, Merchant, who was 16 at the time, and three others, allegedly called Yit Wah Chinese Restaurant at 188-06 Jamaica Ave. in Hollis for meals to be delivered to an abandoned house at 100-45 195th St. at about 11:45 p.m. on June 23, 1999, the DA and police said.

Merchant’s co-defendant, Conrad Marhone, of Hollis, who was 17 at the time of the murder, is awaiting trial, Brown said. The two other suspects are still at large.

Cheung arrived at the site and accepted a $20 bill before Marhone allegedly hit him over the head with a baseball bat, Brown said. Merchant then grabbed the food and another accomplice grabbed the $20, Brown said.

Cheung was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital, where he was in a coma for six days before he died.

After receiving a tip about Merchant and Marhone’s alleged involvement in the crime, police arrested them on the corner of 104th Avenue and 197th Street at around 2 a.m. on June 29, 1999, police said at the time.

According to the criminal complaint, Merchant and Marhone later confessed to the crime and said two other men were involved in the attack. Merchant and Marhone were charged with second-degree murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

A year later on Sept. 1, 2000, Jin Sheng Liu made a late-night food delivery to a secluded Springfield Gardens cul-de-sac, where five teenagers allegedly attacked him, hit him over the head with a brick and killed him.

Police arrested one teenage girl from Rosedale and four teenage boys from Springfield Gardens, charging them with second-degree murder and first degree robbery in the death of the delivery man.

Two of the teens worked out plea bargains with the district attorney’s office and were sentenced to terms of 16 years and 17 years in prison. The other three are awaiting trial.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.

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