At around 11 a.m. on October 28, 2011, 17-year-old Patrick Dixon got off a bus in Jamaica, Queens. A group of young men followed him. They were about to try to steal his iPhone.
There was a scuffle. A punch. A razor. And within seconds, Dixon lay on the ground bleeding from his neck. Doctors pronounced him dead at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Nearly two years later, Queens Supreme Court Judge Gregory Lasak has laid down the punishment for the first of Dixon’s assailants. Stephon Huffman, now 19, received a 20 year prison sentence for his role in the homicide, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday.
Authorities arrested Huffman two weeks after the attack. Prosecutors initially charged him with second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery, and second-degree gang assault, among others.
In July Huffman pleaded down to first-degree manslaughter.
“This was an incredibly violent attack in which a teenage boy’s throat
was slashed with a razor blade as he fought for his life after being chased and restrained by the defendant and several alleged accomplices,” Queens D.A. Richard Brown said in a statement. “A young life was senselessly cut short over a cell phone and the young men allegedly responsible for the death face serious consequences. ”
According to the criminal complaint, the assailants approached Dixon at the corner of 120th Avenue and Foch Boulevard. Huffman grabbed Dixon and put him in a headlock. He demanded that Dixon give up his cell phone and tried to snatch it out of his pocket while another guy held him. A friend of Dixon tried to help but one of the young men punched him in the face.
Dixon managed to free himself. That’s when a third guy slashed him across the neck. Dixon ran away, but soon fell to the ground. Huffman and the rest of the group chased after. “The victim’s blood sprayed on to the [Huffman’s] face,mouth, jacket, sweatshirt and pants,” according to the D.A.’s office.
The attackers continued to demand his phone, but then fled without taking it.
Three other suspects are currently awaiting trial. One of them, Jose Heredia, is accused of wielding the blade. He faces a second-degree murder charge.