Guyanese fugitive jailed 16 years after murdering teenager in N.Y
(Reproduced from Daily Mail) A Guyanese national who spent 16 years as an international fugitive after killing a teenage guest at a New York wedding on Long Island has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.
Balkumar Singh, believed to be 38 years old, learned his fate on Monday in Nassau County Court. He pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and assault in the 1999 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Abzal Khan.
Authorities say Singh shot Khan seven times following a dance floor dispute at a Hicksville wedding hall; scores of guests witnessed Khan’s death.
Singh, who had several aliases, traveled to Canada and Guyana before an international manhunt ended in Trinidad in March 2015 with his capture and subsequent extradition to the US.
‘Balkumar Singh savagely murdered an innocent young man in front of scores of wedding guests and immediately fled the country,’ Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.
‘This defendant stayed one step ahead of the law for 16 years, but thanks to our law enforcement partners from around the globe, we were able to bring him to justice.’
Sing was featured in a 2009 episode of ‘America’s Most Wanted.’
Investigators said Singh was armed with a 9mm handgun as he attended a wedding at the Masonic Temple catering hall in Hicksville on the evening of June 13, 1999.
During the reception, Singh got into an argument with Abzal Khan on the dance floor and later ambushed the teenager as he exited the venue.
According to police, Singh shot Khan at least seven times in front of 20 onlookers. According to the victim’s father, Khan did not know his killer.
Another guest, a 22-year-old man, was shot in the leg but survived.
Within days of the slaying, Singh, who is a US citizen, fled to Guyana and later to Canada, where he has a criminal record that includes 14 prior convictions on charges of assault and gun possession.
Singh spent much of his time on the run living on the streets under various aliases, among them Tevin Persaud, Terry Persaud, Kumar Doodnath, Terry Singh and Sean Maharaj, reported Guardian.co.tt.
Law enforcement officials acting on a tip finally caught up with Singh in Trinidad on March 2015, when he was taken into custody for violating immigration laws under the fake name Shauwn Maharaj.
A local Interpol office helped identify the detainee as American fugitive Balkumar Singh, and he was extradited to Long Island four months later.
At his arraignment in August 2015, Singh apologised to Abzal Khan’s parents and siblings, telling them: ‘Sorry for the pain I caused everyone’s family, the destruction to the family, I’m sorry,’ reported Fox 5 NY.
But Abzal’s father, Inshanallie Khan, said he does not accept Singh’s apology.
‘That doesn’t mean nothing to me,’ said Mr Khan at the time. ‘My heart feels so pleased that they have caught this culprit and [will] bring him to justice.
Shamed Khan, 27, one of the victim’s brothers, said Abzal’s murder has changed their family forever.
‘My family has never been the same,’ he said.
At Singh’s sentencing Monday, Abzal’s father told Newsday he wished his son’s killer would get a life sentence, but he was satisfied with the 19-year term after the defendant pleaded guilty.
Mr Khan, 64, said his son had graduated from high school and was getting ready to start college to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor when his life was cut short by Balkumar Singh.