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Court Hearings (Against Bouncers)


Former Queens nightclub owner, bouncer guilty in patron's killing

A former nightclub owner and bouncer have been convicted in the 14-year-old killing of a patron.

Vishnudatt Nisthalal, who owned the Juanchito Bar, and Rasheen Sweeney, who worked there, were convicted by a jury on Friday of second-degree murder, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown's office announced.

The men, both 48, each face up to 25 years to life in prison when they are sentenced Jan. 16.

Nisthalal ordered Sweeney and another bouncer to take Yamile Alberto Puentes, a patron at the Jackson Heights bar one night in January 1993, outside and kill him, prosecutors said. A week earlier, Puentes had come on to a woman he didn't know was Nisthalal's girlfriend, prosecutors said.

Puentes, 24, was forced out of the bar at gunpoint, taken down the block and shot once in the head, they said.

The second bouncer, who investigators believe pulled the trigger, hasn't been found.

Nisthalal and Sweeney were arrested in 2004 after a disc jockey who had worked at the Juanchito Bar saw Nisthalal at a coin-operated laundry and went to police. The DJ told investigators he had overhead Nisthalal order the bouncers to kill Puentes and had seen them force him out of the bar, prosecutors said.

The district attorney said, "Justice was delayed in this case but not denied."

Vishnudatt and Sweeney had denied the charges against them.






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