By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, RIVERHEAD, N.Y., Weds. Dec. 16, 2015: A Siparia, Trinidad-born woman is facing 25 years to life in New York prison after being found guilty yesterday of killing and dismembering a 27-year-old Guyana-born tenant last year.
A Suffolk County jury took only a few hours to convict Brooklyn resident Leah Cuevas, 43, of second-degree murder.
Prosecutors had told the court that Cuevas killed 27-year-old Guyanese immigrant Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne in a dispute over rent and utility payments on July 5, 2014. Browne, a mother of four, was renting a room from Cuevas at 346 Sumpter Street, Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Cuevas’ uncle owned the Brooklyn building but died and Cuevas was said to have been collecting rent from tenants. Prosecutor Biancavilla said on July 4, 2014 Cuevas angrily confronted Browne over non-payment of rent and utilities.
They got into an argument and prosecutors say Cuevas stabbed Browne 39 times. Prosecutors said Thompson-Browne pleaded for her life moments before Cuevas stabbed her with such force that she was 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 Thompson 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 8, 2014.
The next day, July 9, 2014, a severed arm was found on the lawn of a home on Webb Avenue in Hempstead. Another arm was found on July 10, 2014 in a yard on Cornell Street, about half-a-mile from the first arm. On July 17, 2014, a human head was found in the yard of a home on Boylston Street, Hempstead.
Thompson-Browne was identified by the tattoos on her body. According to prosecutors, Thompson-Browne’s torso was found less than a mile from Cuevas’ sister’s house in Bay Shore.
Cuevas who had pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder will be sentenced on Jan. 14, 2016. In court, Thompson-Browne’s husband