MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Nearly seven months after a 95-year-old man was brutally beaten and strangled to death inside his Upper West Side senior home, his alleged killer — a former maintenance man at the facility who was eyed as suspect months ago — has finally been charged with murder.
Wilfred Matthews, 43, was indicted on first-degree murder charges on July 30 for allegedly killing Peter Lisi, who was found dead on Dec. 23, 2011 in his apartment at the Williams Memorial Residence, a Salvation Army-run senior facility on West End Avenue and West 95th Street.
Lisi's death sent shock waves through the close-knit senior home, and residents had continued to live in fear for months as his murderer remained at large. A rash of burglaries since the murder also left residents rattled.
Matthews also said he had been in Lisi's room in the days before Lisi was found dead, but he denied any connection to the killing.
Without a murder charge, Matthews was released from custody after his family posted bail on the stolen MetroCard charge.
Detectives had recently been questioning residents in the building, renewing hopes that investigators are close to a breakthrough, people who live at the senior home said. But it's unclear what new evidence led investigators to the long awaited murder charge.
Authorities did not return request for comment.
Matthews, who was fired shortly after his arrest on the stolen MetroCard charge, plead not guilty to the murder charges on August 1st. He's being held without bail in Rikers. He's due back in court in October 22nd.
His lawyer, Joseph Zablocki, did not immediately return calls for comment.