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Far Rockaway Man Charged With Murder in Labor Day Stabbing Death


Sept. 10, 2020 Staff Report

A Far Rockaway resident who allegedly stabbed a man to death in the Rockaways on Monday has been charged with murder and weapons possession.

James Williams, 51, allegedly got into a dispute with the victim at around 3:55 p.m. and in a violent rage stabbed Massiah Berkley, 29, in the chest near Beach 20th Street.

When police arrived they found Berkley lying face up and bleeding from the chest.

Berkley was rushing to a nearby hospital but died from his injuries. Police apprehended Williams near the crime scene soon after.

Williams has been charged with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

“The defendant instigated a fleeting disagreement and allegedly turned it into a deadly tragedy,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement.

“Acting out with violence is never the answer to resolve a dispute. This altercation ended with a man brutally losing his life. This defendant is in custody and will be held accountable for his alleged rage-fueled criminal attack.”

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