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Bonich shot Klinger in the back of the head inside Astoria Park.
By Forum Staff
Alexander Bonich, 52, of 42ndStreet in Astoriahas been convicted at trial of murder in the fatal shooting of his friend, William Klinger, 42, of Rome, Italy, in January 2015.
Bonich and the victim first met years ago in Croatia and maintained a friendship over the years.
Klinger was a historian, and told Bonich he wanted to move to the US. Bonich offered to help him and afterwards said he had found him a job for him and an apartment for sale in Astoria for $85,000.
But upon Klinger’s arrival he learned that there was no job waiting for him and the apartment was actually a rental occupied by Bonich’s elderly mother.
The two men began to argue while walking together in Astoria Park on a Sunday afternoon. Klinger waked away from Bonich who ordered him to stop but when he didn’t, Bonich shot him in the back of the head. After he fell to the ground, the defendant shot him again.
District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant in this case spun a web of lies – claiming that the victim had set out to kill him and that shooting the man in the back was self-defense. The jury, however, weighed all the evidence and found the defendant guilty as charged after just two hours of deliberations. The victim of this violent shooting had trusted the defendant and reached out to him for help in starting a new life in New York City. Sadly, the defendant betrayed that trust and brutally shot and killed the man. The defendant will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars as punishment for this senseless killing.”
When he is sentenced on June 14, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.