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Flushing Woman Charged With Murder After Allegedly Killing Man in Her Bed and Fleeing State in His Car

Defendant Haiyan Deng (New Mexico State Police)

Jan. 4, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A Flushing woman was charged with murder Monday after she allegedly killed a man in her bed and fled the state in his car back in September.

Haiyan Deng, 31, was indicted by a Queens grand jury on murder, burglary and gun charges for the alleged Sept. 18 slaying of 26-year-old Justin Li inside her Flushing apartment.

Deng allegedly shot Li once in the head and fled to New Mexico in his car, according to the indictment. She reportedly had a romantic relationship with the married victim, according to the New York Daily News.  

Police conducted a wellness check after Li’s wife was unable to reach him. They found his body — bleeding from a single gunshot wound to the head — on Deng’s bed the day after he was shot.

Deng, meanwhile, left the state in her victim’s car, the charges state. She was apprehended in New Mexico on Sept. 23 by a state officer who realized she was wanted in New York.

The defendant — who had by then changed cars — pulled over to the side of Interstate 40 in New Mexico when her new ride got two flat tires, according to New Mexico State Police.

A state trooper soon stopped to assist her. At about the same time, the NYPD alerted New Mexico law enforcement that they had reason to believe Deng — who was wanted for murder and possibly armed — may be in the state.

The officer assisting Deng was notified of the NYPD alert and realized he was helping the wanted murder suspect, New Mexico police said.

When he attempted to arrest her, she resisted and the two wrestled on the ground until a good Samaritan driving by stopped to help. Then local sheriffs arrived and assisted the trooper in successfully handcuffing Deng.

New Mexico state police allegedly recovered a revolver from Deng’s car that was a ballistic match to the bullet found at the murder scene in her Flushing apartment, according to the charges. They also found personal property that belonged to Li within Deng’s possession.

“The defendant is accused of shooting the victim in the head, then taking his car to flee the state,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “Gun violence is never the solution.”

Deng was held by authorities in New Mexico until she could be extradited to Queens.

“The defendant has been returned to Queens,” Katz said. “She now faces very serious charges.”

Deng was arraigned Monday on a nine-count indictment in Queens Supreme Court. She was charged with murder in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second and fourth degree, burglary in the first degree, assault in the third degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree and harassment in the second degree.

She is set to return to court on Feb. 3. If convicted, she faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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