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The man accused of gunning down a Forest Hills dentist in front of his daughter, allegedly tried to offer investigators alibis that heavily conflicted with police evidence, a Queens detective testified Monday at a pre-trial hearing in State Supreme Court.
Detective Edward Wilkowski, of the Queens Homicide Squad, recounted how he and other detectives looking into the murder of Dr. Daniel Malakov questioned Mikhail Mallayev Nov. 17 shortly after they arrested him in his hometown of suburban Atlanta.
The 51-year-old Mallayev told investigators three times that he was not in Queens at the time of the murder, but cell phone records showed he was in the city for most of that day, according to the detective.
"I said [to Mallayev], 'Your phone would reflect where you are,' " Wilkowski recounted to Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert Hanophy.
The detective said cell phone tower records put Mallayev a block from Annadale Playground, where Malakov was shot twice in the chest Oct. 28 by a man in a black jacket around the time of the murder.
Mallayev, who is facing first-degree murder and conspiracy charges, changed his story and said he was in Queens with his son visiting a friend, but left for Georgia on the morning of Oct. 28 and made no stops as he drove south, Wilkowski testified.
His cell phone records again told a different story, according to the detective. Wilkowski testified that his phone was picked up by another cell phone tower around 3:30 p.m. in Brooklyn.
Mallayev changed his story again, saying that he stopped at his daughter's apartment in Brooklyn, picked up some clothes, showered and went shopping for new shoes, according to the detective.
"It went from going straight home to having a significant stop," Wilkowski said of Mallayev's alibi.
Wilkowski noted earlier in the interview with the defendant that Mallayev maintained he did not own credit cards, but said he bought his Salamander Shoes with a credit card.
Prosecutors contend he traveled to Queens to shoot Malakov at the request of Malakov's estranged wife, Dr. Mazoltuv "Marina" Borukhova, 34, who is also facing first-degree murder and conspiracy charges.
Malakov, 34, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, was killed around 11 a.m. while dropping off his then 4-year-old daughter, Michelle, to visit her mother at the playground at Yellowstone Boulevard and 64th Road. He had gained custody of the girl days before his death following a bitter custody battle with Borukhova, also an Uzbek immigrant.
Police arrested Mallayev, Borukhova's uncle by marriage, after they matched his fingerprints with those found on a makeshift silencer abandoned at the playground by the shooter.
In February, police arrested Borukhova after they discovered she and Mallayev made more than 90 phone calls to each other in the weeks leading up to the murder, but just two afterward. When asked about the phone calls during the interview, Mallayev said he was talking to her about an undisclosed medical issue, according to Wilkowski.
"He said, 'Marina was the family doctor and he was free to call her anytime he'd want,' " he recounted.
Mallayev's and Borukhova's joint trial does not yet have an opening date, but prosecutors and defense lawyers want to have it start sometime this year. If convicted, they both face up to life in prison without parole.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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