A man accused of stabbing his lawyer to death in Queens last month has been formally charged and faces up to 25 years in prison.
Authorities arrested Nando Perez of the Bronx on Aug. 9 in connection to the murder of 65-year-old Charles Zolot, a Queens lawyer who specialized in divorces and child custody cases. The NYPD said Perez, 64, is a client of Zolot but didn't provide other details.
Perez, 64, was arraigned Thursday on an indictment charging him with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced. The alleged killer will continue to be held without bail.
His lawyer declined to comment when reached by phone on Friday.
"This was a brutal killing that stunned the community," Katz said Friday. "The victim was found dead inside his Jackson Heights office with multiple stab wounds and a former client is accused of settling a disagreement with violence."
A janitor found Zolot unconscious on Thursday, Aug. 5, at his law office on 82nd Street in Jackson Heights, according to police. Law enforcement sources told NBC New York that the family attorney had been stabbed in the chest and first responders pronounced him dead at the scene.
Katz said Perez is accused of stabbing the victim approximately 20 times before fleeing the law office.
One attorney described Zolot as "very likeable" and "not at all kind of guy that would have an enemy or agitate anybody."
"The secretaries are really upset. It’s scary. We have cameras on the floor so we asked for that. I think they have pictures of what’s going inside and I think someone saw blood by the elevator," he said.
Friends and neighbors say Zolot lived alone and was always kind.
"Never had an attitude. Never caused a problem in the building. Always very nice," Charlie Reyes said.