June 18, 2018 By Christian Murray
An Astoria man who shot dead a friend in Astoria Park in 2015 has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, the Queens District Attorney’s office announced today.
Alexander Bonich, 52, who lived on 42nd Street, was sentenced for the murder of his friend, William Klinger of Rome, Italy.
Bonich was convicted last month by a jury that only need two hours to deliberate.
Klinger and Bonich met while traveling in Croatia, where both were reportedly born, and had been friends for years, the District Attorney’s office said.
Klinger told Bonich that he was thinking about moving to the U.S., and Bonich offered to help. Bonich sold him an apartment for $85,000 and told him he would find him a job.
Klinger arrived in the U.S. and discovered that he had been deceived, the Queens District Attorney’s office said. There was no job waiting for him, and the apartment he had purchased was rented by Bonich’s mother.
The two men were walking in Astoria Park on the afternoon of Jan. 31, 2015, when they started to argue. Klinger began to walk away from Bonich, who demanded that he stop.
When Klinger ignored him, Bonich shot him with an antique gun in the back of the head. Klinger tumbled to the ground and Bonich shot him again. He then threw the weapon in the East River.
“The shooter and the victim were friends, but that did not stop the defendant from first scamming the man out of tens of thousands of dollars and then viciously shooting him in the back. This was a horrible crime committed in broad daylight in one of Queens’ most popular parks.