By NAN Contributor
News Americas, CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y., Fri. July 25, 2014: A 42-year-old Brooklyn, NY woman will remain in jail without bail, a judge Thursday ruled, after her brief appearance in Suffolk County District Court to face charges of murdering and dismembering a Guyanese immigrant and mother of four.
Leah Cuevas was arraignment yesterday, a day after she was arrested by Suffolk County police, for the second-degree murder of 27-year-old Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne.
Prosecutor Robert Biancavilla said in court Thompson Browne was killed during a July 5th argument in Cuevas’ 346 Sumpter Street, Brownsville, Brooklyn apartment.
Prosecutors allege that Cuevas began collecting rents at the Brownsville building after the landlord died.
Prosecutor Biancavilla said on July 4th, Cuevas angrily confronted Browne over non-payment of rent and utilities. Then on July 5th, witnesses saw Browne entering the apartment and then heard a confrontation.
Cuevas stabbed Browne in the neck during an argument after Browne refused to hand over money, authorities say.
Neighbors told investigators they heard Browne scream, “Oh no! What are you doing!” during the altercation, then silence.
Prosecutor Biancavilla said Thompson Browne pleaded for her life moments before Cuevas stabbed her with such force she was eventually decapitated.
Her dismembered body was later found scattered across Bay Shore and Hempstead, Long Island. Two people walking to the ferry in Bay Shore discovered Browne’s torso in a vacant Bay Shore lot used as a shortcut between a municipal parking lot and the Fire Island Ferry terminal on July 8th, police said.
The next day, a severed arm was found on the lawn of a home on Webb Avenue in Hempstead.
Another arm was found July 10th in a yard on Cornell Street, about half a mile from the first arm. On July 17th, a human head was found in the yard of a home Boylston Street in Hempstead. Thompson Browne was identified by the tattoos on her body.
According to prosecutors, Browne’s torso was found less than one mile from Cuevas’ sister’s house in Bay Shore.
Detectives are not yet saying if Cuevas had any help or if she was the one who dismembered Browne’s body and scattered her head and arms across Long Island.
Thompson Browne’s husband and other relatives were in court Thursday as Cuevas was charged.
Dale Brown, who flew up from Guyana where he was living with the couple’s four children said the killing of his wife still feels “surreal” to him and he is now grappling with the fact that he has to be mother and father to his kids.
He had told Guyana media that he last spoke to his wife on July 5th before she headed to work at the department store, Century 21.
Asked if he had a message for Cuevas, a clearly spiritual Brown said: “vengeance is the Lord’s.”