Girlfriend arraigned in Rich Hill stabbing

A police officer guards the apartment where a Richmond Hill woman allegedly stabbed her boyfriend to death last week.
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A Richmond Hill woman with a history of relationship was arraigned on charges of stabbing her boyfriend to death with a knife, the Queens district attorney said.

Shirley Forbes, 63, was arrested April 17 after police found her 55-year-old boyfriend, Lee Burrison, lying face up bleeding from his chest in their living room the night before. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Forbes was initially taken into custody from the scene for questioning, police said.

Forbes was cooking dinner when she and Burrison started arguing, police said. Burrison had tried taking the knife out of his girlfriend’s hand before he was stabbed, police said.

Burrison was taken to nearby Jamaica Hospital, but the lone stab wound ultimately claimed his life, the NYPD said.

“The defendant in this case is alleged to have stabbed her boyfriend once in the chest, killing him,” Brown said. “Violence such as that which is alleged to have occurred in this case cannot be tolerated, as a result the defendant faces serious consequences for her alleged actions.”

Forbes was arraigned last Thursday on charges of manslaughter, criminal possession of a weapon and aggravated criminal contempt and was held without bail, Brown said. Her next court date is May 2.

Her arraignment also brought light to a heated history between the couple, who were living together in the flat near 87th Avenue and 112th Street, where Burrison was stabbed with a knife, authorities said.

According to the criminal complaint, a two-year order of protection was issued on Burrison’s behalf back in November, ordering Forbes to refrain from assaulting, harassing or committing any other criminal offenses against him. Police also said they responded to at least four domestic dispute calls involving the two.

Neighbors living nearby who did not want to be identified said they did not know much about the couple, who typically kept to themselves.

Police said Forbes had already racked up a list of previous arrests relating to drugs and burglary, with incidents dating as far back as 1966.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 5:34 pm, July 9, 2018
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