NEW YORK – A New York City landlord-tenant dispute turned deadly Tuesday when a homeowner, who for months had pestered a female tenant to move out, butchered the mother of four with a machete before using the same weapon to kill himself, the New York Post reported.
A friend of Eulith "Sonny" Reid said that three months ago, the 49-year-old landlord stopped taking rent money from 48-year-old Hettie Patterson, a home health aide who lived in the basement, in an effort to get her to move out. Last week, Patterson tried to give Reid three months' worth of rent, but he refused to take it, the friend said.
Patterson's boyfriend, 50-year-old George Frankson said Reid was trying to force Patterson out because he wanted to move his kids into the apartment.
Frankson said Patterson had packed all of her belongings in the past week but had not moved out because she had not yet found an affordable place.
On Monday night, Patterson came home from the hospital after a diabetes-related appointment, Frankson said.
"She called me and said, 'I see Sonny behind the house, hiding.' I said, 'Go inside the house and when you get inside, let me know,' so she did," Frankson said.
Neighbors said that at about 11:40 a.m. local time Tuesday, Reid's upstairs tenant ran out of the home in his underwear, screaming that Patterson was dead in the backyard.
When police arrived, they found Patterson on the ground outside the house, bleeding from her head, authorities said.
Reid had barricaded the door to his bedroom, and when cops forced open the door, they found him mortally wounded with a self-inflicted machete gash to his neck, authorities said.
Both Patterson and Reid were declared dead at Jamaica Hospital.