Former College Basketball Player Convicted of Killing College Roommate

By Nicholas Rizzi on March 18, 2014 4:10pm 

ST. GEORGE — A former college basketball player from Queens was found guilty Tuesday of gunning down his former roommate on Staten Island three years ago using an AK-47 that he lugged around the city in a duffel bag.

Armand Skrine, 37, shot David Williams, 30, in the heart after an argument in Williams' Concord apartment. Then he followed his victim into the hallway and fired another shot into his head, despite the fact that he was already mortally wounded, Staten Island DA Daniel Donovan said.

"Armand Skrine is a cold-blooded killer who used a deadly assault rifle to murder a man," Donovan said in a statement after the conviction on murder and weapons possession charges.

"Mr. Williams was already dead from the first bullet wound, which had pulpified his heart, when the defendant fired a second bullet into the victim’s head at point blank range."

The 6-foot-9 Skrine played forward at Post University in Waterbuy, Conn., several years ago and was cited several times for being a state leader in rebounds for Division II.

On Dec. 8, 2011, Skrine took public transportation from Queens to Staten Island with an oversized duffel bag filled with an assault rifle, two magazines and a black facemask, prosecutors said.

When Skrine arrived at Williams' Steuben Street house, he removed the face cover before he knocked on the victim's door, prosecutors said.

Once inside, the two had a brief fight, which the Staten Island Advance reported was over counterfeit cash, before Skrine shot Williams in the heart.

Williams ran out of his apartment and into a hallway, where a neighbor saw him utter his last words: "Oh my God. Help me," before he fell to the ground, prosecutors said.

He then walked up to Williams and fired another shot in his head.

Skrine, nicknamed "25" because of his jersey number, changed clothes and ditched the bag with the weapon and mask in nearby woods.

However, he was arrested three blocks away from the scene on Mosel Avenue and Narrows Road North minutes after the killing, prosecutors said.

Skrine faces a maximum of 40 years in jail for the charges, Donovan said.

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