Jamaica man arrested in woman’s death

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A Jamaica man has been arrested for allegedly shooting and killing a St. Albans woman early Sunday morning after she booted him from a birthday party for fighting with another woman, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Another man who may be involved is still at large, the DA said.

Oneil Maris, 23, of 178 Place and 119th Street in Jamaica, is accused of killing 26-year-old Avalisa Morris in a house at 119th Road near 177th Street, almost across the street from where a homicide occurred in October, police said.

“I’m praying for this neighborho­od,” said a woman who lives at the intersection near where the shooting occurred and asked that her name not be revealed.

During a party at the house attended by about 50 or 60 people, Maris and another man, who had been kicked out a few minutes earlier, allegedly came back around 4:10 a.m. and went down stairs leading to the basement door, the DA said. The office said individuals informed them they later heard two gunshots and Maris and another man allegedly ran up the stairs from the basement and out of the house. Both men were allegedly carrying firearms, the DA said.

Morris was allegedly standing with her back to the door – which had two bullet holes – and fell to the floor when the gunshots rang out, the DA said..

Police said they responded to a 911 call of a woman shot at 4:22 a.m. When they arrived, the police said they found Morris unconscious and unresponsive with gunshot wounds in her head and abdomen. The Emergency Medical Service who responded pronounced Morris dead at the scene, police said.

The New York Post reported Morris was a former bank teller who had her eye on the door during a birthday party at the location.

Morris lived at 114th Drive in St. Albans near Newburg Street, police said. No other residents of the house could be located. Morris’ cousin Larrissa Whyte did not respond to calls for comment.

Mairs lives at 178th Place near 119th Ave. in St. Albans, police said.

He is awaiting arraignment on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon in Queens Criminal Court and faces up to 25 years to life in prison, the DA said.

Residents at the home where the slaying occurred declined to comment. Neighbors interviewed at houses nearby said they knew little or nothing about the circumstances behind the shooting. Two male neighbors said they had been sleeping when the slaying took place and had not heard any gunshots.

The female neighbor said she believed there had to have been a witness to the crime.

“There were two people arguing,” she said. “Someone would have seen who shot who.”

The shooting occurred on the same street where Tony McFadden, 26, was shot in the head on his doorstep in October.

This is the only murder recorded in the 113th Precinct this year, according to police crime statistics, but the precinct had 19 murders in 2010. In both 1998 and 2001, the precinct reported only 10 murders.

A young man in the neighborhood said many crimes happen in the area.

“Trust me,” the man said as he walked away, “ain’t nobody going to tell you a damn thing.”

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 10:41 am, October 12, 2011
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