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Prosecutors are charging a Brooklyn man with murder after police discovered a body in a plastic storage container at his Flatlands home on April 19.
Police arrested Joshua Simser at his house on E. 54th Street near Avenue N and charged him with second-degree murder, law enforcement sources said. Police have not released the victim’s name, but law enforcement sources say he went by the nickname “Chino.”
Chino reportedly spent the night at Simser’s home around April 14, police said. According to a criminal complaint, the Simser allegedly stabbed Chino several times in the head, neck, and body some time between April 14 and April 19.
The two did not appear to have a close relationship, police said.
The suspect’s employer tipped off the police after Simser, a bouncer, allegedly confessed the homicide to his boss on Saturday, according to law enforcement sources. Investigators from the 63rd Precinct found the body shortly after noon on Saturday, according to police reports. The victim had suffered several stab wounds, which likely led to his death, sources said. Simser was arrested the next day, court records show.
Neighbors said they rarely saw the suspect or his housemates, who were relatively new to the neighborhood.
“I’m living there my whole life and I don’t know the people who live in that house,” said Joanne Ascanio, who has lived three doors down for 50 years.
Another neighbor who declined to give her name said she had never spoken with anyone in the house since its previous owners moved five years ago.
Seeing a platoon of police outside their homes rattled many living on the block, neighbors said. One resident said he would never have thought such a violent crime could occur in his backyard.
“This is a good neighborhood — I’m shocked that this occurred,” said neighbor Michael Guest.
Simser was arraigned in Kings County Criminal Court on April 21, and his next appearance is scheduled for April 25.
His lawyer said evidence is preliminary but could show the alleged stabbing was not a murder.
“It appears there are elements of self-defense that may come into play here,” said attorney Hermann Walz.
©2014 Community Newspaper Group
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