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Hollis truck driver stabbed by enraged son, 17: Police

A Hollis truck driver for the Daily News was murdered last week after he was allegedly stabbed in neck during a fight with his 17-year-old son and namesake, police said.

William Smith Jr., 58, of 94-64 199th St. in Hollis, was found dead with stab wounds to his neck at his home early last Thursday morning, police said. His son, William Smith, III, 17, was arrested and charged with the murder later that afternoon, police said.

The family dispute took place when the younger Smith erupted in anger because he said his father cut his fingernails too short, police said. His father came home from his job as a truck driver for the New York Daily News about 1:40 a.m. last Thursday and decided to trim the son's nails, but the son was not pleased with the manicure, police said.

Smith's reaction to his father's work became violent, and he allegedly stabbed the elder Smith twice in the neck with a pocket knife, police said.

The younger Smith may have a psychiatric condition, according to published reports, but neighbors did not know the family well enough to confirm the reports.

"We keep to ourselves on this block," said a neighbor at 94-40 199th St. "We watch out for each other's houses, but domestic problems - we don't talk about that."

Smith was charged with second-degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence, said a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Details on the tampering charge were not available due to the boy's age, she said.

Smith was arraigned in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens Friday, and he was remanded without bail, the spokeswoman said.

Although no information was available on Smith's mental condition, the presiding judge at his arraignment ordered a physical examination be completed before he is due in court again later this month, the spokeswoman said.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at, or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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