NEW YORK, NY – Rodolfo Lopez-Portillo, 47, has been charged with murder and other crimes for the death of a 60-year-old pawnshop owner in March, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Lopez-Portillo was arraigned today before Queens Criminal Court Judge Jessica Earle-Gargan on a five-count complaint charging him with two counts of murder in the second degree, robbery in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Judge Earle-Gargan set the defendant’s return date for May 20, 2022.
District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, the defendant perpetrated a shocking act of violence – mercilessly beating a pawn store owner to death with a blunt object during a broad daylight robbery. Brutal lawlessness affecting our local business owners will never go unanswered. The defendant is now in custody and will be held to account for this horrific crime.”
According to the charges, on March 28, 2022, at approximately 12:30 p.m., the defendant entered Global Pawn Shop on Jamaica Avenue and confronted store owner Arasb Shoughi. The defendant allegedly wielded what appeared to be a metal object and struck the 60-year-old victim on the head multiple times with that object. Defendant Lopez-Portillo allegedly removed a ring and necklace from Mr. Shoughi and then stole the man’s cell phone and other items from the store before fleeing the scene.
Mr. Shoughi succumbed to his injuries on April 17, 2022. Lopez-Portillo faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison, if convicted.