A dispute over money led a Massachusetts man to murder Forest Hills resident Michael Pecora last week after meeting him online and planning to have sex with him, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Alexys Fermaintt, 30, of Holyoke, Mass., admitted to stabbing Pecora, 38, four times between 12 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. June 17, after he and Pecora disagreed over the amount of money Pecora was going to pay Fermaintt for sex and for spending the day with him, the DA said.
Pecora died from stab wounds to the torso, according to the city medical examiner’s office.
Fermaintt, who told police he met Pecora online, has been charged with second-degree murder, the DA said. Fermaintt could spend 25 years to life behind bars if convicted, according to the DA.
Fermaintt told police he stabbed in self-defense Pecora after the Forest Hills man originally attempted to knife him, the DA said. Following the murder, Fermaintt fled from Pecora’s Forest Hills co-op building on 65th Avenue and took with him Pecora’s cell phone, laptop and watch, according to the DA.
Police were able to track down Fermaintt after a taxi driver notified police that the Massachusetts man had used Pecora’s cell phone to pay for cab fare after leaving Pecora’s home, a Police Department spokesman said.
Fermaintt was arrested last Thursday afternoon in Massachusetts and was brought to Queens Friday, police said. He was arraigned Friday night in Queens Criminal Court and ordered held without bail. The Queens DA’s office said Fermaintt will return to court July 2.
Pecora’s neighbors said they were shocked to learn of Pecora’s murder.
“I don’t believe it,” said Yanick Dominijanni, who lives in the co-op next to Pecora’s building. “This is a quiet neighborhood. It’s scary, very scary, because you never know.”
Adela Saporta, who lived in the same building as Pecora, said the victim had recently lost his job. According to Saporta, Pecora was friendly and had previously invited her in to see his apartment. Pecora had lived for less than two years in the Forest Hills co-op, Saporta said.
Reporter Ivan Pereira and photographer PJ Smith contributed reporting to this article.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
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