Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza
The stabbing occurred during a violent brawl inside Cookie’s Lounge in Ozone Park.
By Michael V. Cusenza
A Jamaica man has been convicted in the July 2017 stabbing death of a man inside of an Ozone Park watering hole, Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan recently announced.
Following a two-week trial, Kenneth Shaw, 38, was found guilty last Wednesday of first-degree manslaughter. He faces five to 25 years in prison.
According to trial testimony, on July 13, 2017, at approximately 12:55 a.m. inside of Cookie’s Lounge on Cross Bay Boulevard, Shaw touched the tattoo of a woman at the bar. The woman’s friend took offense and pushed Shaw and a brawl ensued. John Savillo, 55, of Ozone Park, allegedly broke a stool over another patron’s head and choked him. Savillo was then stabbed twice in the torso and sustained a lacerated liver.
Savillo was immediately transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with internal bleeding. The married father and grandfather succumbed to his injuries about 13 hours after the fight.
Ryan said that Shaw “turned an evening in a bar into mayhem and bloodshed. A man is dead over a petty dispute and the defendant has now been found guilty of taking a life. After careful deliberation, the jury found him guilty and the defendant will face a lengthy term of punishment for this senseless act of violence.”
However, then-DA Richard Brown originally balked at prosecuting Shaw. According to law enforcement officials, witnesses supported his claim that Savillo initiated the melee.
“The District Attorney’s Office has declined to file charges at this time, citing the need for further investigation,” spokesman Kevin Ryan told The Forum on Monday, July 17, 2017.
This did not sit well with Savillo’s loved ones.
“It’s an injustice that this man is allowed to go on with his life,” John Andriano, a nephew of Savillo, told the New York Daily News.
Shaw was indicted a month later. He was arraigned on Aug. 29, 2017, on a single charge of first-degree manslaughter with intent to cause physical injury.
The DA’s Office did not explain why it switched gears and ultimately decided to present the case to the grand jury. Shaw’s attorney, Marcia Payton, did not return a call seeking comment.
Shaw is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 2.