Queens dad facing murder charge in death of 3-year-old son

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NYPD officers responding to emergency call. File photo by Roy Janssen
NYPD officers responding to emergency call. File photo by Roy Janssen

NEW YORK – A New York City man is facing murder charges after his 3-year-old son was found dead by New York City firefighters inside their apartment at the Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst.

Shaquan Butler was arraigned yesterday on murder charges in the death of his 3-year-old son, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

As part of a six-count complaint filed by Queens Criminal Court Judge Michael Yavinsky yesterday, Butler was arraigned on two counts of murder in the second degree, two counts of manslaughter in the first degree, two counts of manslaughter in the second degree, and endangering the welfare of a child.

If convicted, he could serve up to 25 years in prison.

On Sunday, November 13, at approximately 7:40 p.m., the defendant allegedly struck his son in the torso inside their apartment in the Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst. At the time, the child’s mother and two young siblings were also present in the apartment.

The New York Fire Department responded to a 911 call and found the 3-year-old unconscious on the floor with injuries to his head, torso and extremities. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Medical examiners determined that the child had significant internal bleeding and died as a result of blunt force trauma to the torso.

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“A defenseless young child’s life was brutally snatched from him before it even began in most ways; a case that is equal parts heartbreaking and disturbing,” Queens District Attorney District Attorney Katz said. “As alleged, the defendant is responsible for this brutal death and my Office will be sure to secure justice in this innocent child’s memory.”