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May 13, 2013

Queens Man Sentenced to 22 Years to Life in Prison for Murdering Fellow Taxi Driver Over Disputed Fare

Heron stabbed victim three times in the chest during argument

MINEOLA, N.Y. - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that a Queens man has been sentenced to 22 years to life in prison for murdering a fellow taxi driver in a Franklin Square parking lot after the two men had argued hours earlier over a disputed fare.Christopher Heron

Christopher Heron, 37, of Springfield Gardens, was convicted by a jury of Murder in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree last October. He was sentenced by Judge Jerald Carter.

Rice said that just after midnight on August 12, 2011 in the Town of Hempstead municipal parking lot #7 in Franklin Square, Heron stabbed the victim, William Mena, 33, of Queens, three times in the chest and abdomen before fleeing the scene. Before the attack, the two men, both cab drivers for Ollie’s Taxi in Franklin Square, were arguing about an incident a few hours earlier when Heron accused the victim of stealing a fare that had been assigned to him.

Mena was pronounced dead at the scene with perforations to the left lung, aorta, trachea, and inferior vena cava. Heron left his cab in the lot after fleeing the scene, but turned himself in later that night. Video surveillance footage from a nearby residence captured the murder.

“This defendant turned a dispute between co-workers into a brutal attack that will forever affect the families of both men,” Rice said. “While no sentence can ever bring the victim back, I hope Mr. Mena’s family finds solace in knowing that his killer will spend a very long time in prison reflecting on all the pain he has caused.”

Assistant District Attorney Michael Walsh of the Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. Heron is represented by Ronald Nir, Esq.