FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Brooklyn Man Indicted for Kidnapping Woman
And Fatally Setting Her on Fire
Defendant Allegedly Accused Victim of Stealing and
Selling His Comic Books Before Killing Her
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 28-year-old Brooklyn man has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with first- and second-degree murder, kidnapping and other charges for allegedly tying a woman to a chair and fatally lighting her on fire inside an apartment in Cypress Hills. The defendant was allegedly captured on camera buying twine, a lighter, and lighter fluid at a nearby bodega shortly before the attack.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The brutal and completely senseless murder of an innocent woman, allegedly perpetrated by this defendant, shocks the conscience. This kind of depraved conduct will not be tolerated in Brooklyn, and we are committed to seeking justice on behalf of the victim and her loved ones.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Lashawn Duffie, 28, of Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with first- and second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and second- and third-degree robbery. He was remanded without bail and ordered to return to court on May 3, 2023. The defendant is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on November 11, 2022, at approximately 12:30 a.m., outside an apartment located at Livonia Avenue in Cypress Hills, the defendant accused his former girlfriend Surgery Ramirez, 40, of stealing and selling his comic books. According to the investigation, the defendant then went to a bodega around the corner where video surveillance shows him allegedly buying twine, lighter fluid, and a lighter with cash he allegedly stole earlier from Ramirez’s friend.
Furthermore, according to the investigation, at approximately 3:50 a.m., the defendant returned to Ramirez’s apartment and allegedly assaulted her. It is alleged the defendant tied Ramirez to a chair with twine, poured lighter fluid over her, lit a match, and left the victim to burn alive. The defendant was captured on camera after the attack allegedly throwing his shirt, a lighter, and documents bearing the victim’s name into a dumpster. Firefighters responded to the scene and found the victim’s burned body. The New York City Medical Examiner later determined she died of severe burns and homicidal violence.
The defendant was arrested on January 24, 2023.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior District Attorney Evan Hannay of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, with the assistance of Senior District Attorney Matthew Midey, also of the Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Leila Rosini, Bureau Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.