RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSewYork/AP) — A Brooklyn woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to second-degree murder in the killing and dismemberment of a mother of four whose body parts were scattered on Long Island.
Leah Cuevas, 42, was arraigned on indictment charges Thursday in Suffolk County District Court. She’s being held without bail.
Prosecutors say the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27, was killed during a July 5 argument in Cuevas’ Brownsville apartment, where Browne also lived and was paying rent.
Authorities said the women were heard arguing about unpaid rent and utilities prior to Browne’s death.
Browne also might have threatened to expose that Cuevas was posing as the owner of the apartment, authorities said. Investigators told CBS 2 that Cuevas had forged the deed for the property naming her the owner after the real owner died.
“The victim was yelling: ‘No, Lee! Oh, no! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!'” Suffolk County prosecutor Robert Biancavilla said in court Thursday. “This was the last time, Judge, that the victim was either heard or seen alive.”
Browne’s remains, including her torso, were first discovered July 8 in a vacant lot in Bay Shore. Other body parts were found within the next week in Hempstead, about 25 miles away.