Boyfriend charged with murder in Springfield Gardens fire

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The Springfield Gardens man accused of leaving his pregnant girlfriend and her son to burn is now charged with killing the woman and using the blaze to cover up his crime, the Queens district attorney said.

Jimmy Humphrey, 23, of Selover Road was arraigned on second-degree murder, abortion and tampering with evidence charges Monday afternoon — more than two weeks after he was charged with the arson that killed Linda Anderson, 25, and her 2-year-old son, Ayden Hayes, Queens DA Richard Brown said.

Anderson was expecting Humphrey’s son and was seven months pregnant when the suspect allegedly killed her, according to the DA.

“The defendant is accused of strangling to death a young mother and then attempting to cover up the crime by intentionally setting fire to her apartment, which resulted in the loss of another innocent life — the woman’s infant child. This case will be vigorously prosecuted to ensure that justice is served,” he said in a statement.

The DA said on July 13, Humphrey got into an argument with Anderson at her apartment at Anderson Road and 179th Street in Springfield Gardens, where he threw her onto the floor by the neck, killing her.

Initially, Humphrey claimed she knocked down a bottle of nail polish and a candle, which caused the small blaze, but later allegedly said he hit Anderson with a bottle of alcohol and used a lighter to set her couch on fire, according to the DA.

Humphrey knew she was pregnant and did not want to start a family with her, Brown said. The defendant allegedly knew Ayden was in the apartment while the fire was going on, but fled the scene and walked back to his apartment.

After he allegedly lied down in his home for some time, he made an anonymous 911 phone call about the fire, according to Brown. Firefighters were able to put out the fire, but Anderson was found dead and her toddler died at Queens Hospital Center of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, the DA said.

The FDNY determined the fire was not accidental and not caused by natural forces, Brown said. The medical examiner determined that Anderson died as a result of neck compression and her fetus was viable at the time of her death, according to Brown.

If convicted of his charges, Humphrey faces up to 50 years in prison, Brown said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 6:00 pm, October 10, 2011
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