Monday, February 22, 2010

Queens Bar Owner Gunned Down Two 'Good Friends' in Drug Deal, Prosecutors Say by Kevin Deutsch and John Lauinge - NY Daily News

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Nicholas Kiriakakis is jailed on $3 million bail for the execution-style slaying of two Queens pals.

A Queens bar owner facing a double murder rap in New Jersey turned his gun in cold blood on two "good friends" over a drug deal, prosecutors said.

Nicholas Kiriakakis, 25, is jailed on $3 million bail for the execution-style slaying of Queens pals Jonathan Beneduce, 28, and Michael Mirasola, 27.

A Teaneck, N.J., woman found Beneduce's and Mirasola's bullet-riddled bodies inside a still-running Ford Explorer outside her home early Thursday morning.

"We believe this is tied to a drug transaction," Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said, referring to the dead men as "good friends" of Kiriakakis.

NYPD cops nabbed Kiriakakis on Saturday and searched his Queens home and his bar on Bell Blvd. in Bayside.

They found a stun gun and illegal prescription drugs, but it was unclear whether the murder weapon was recovered.

Kiriakakis' neighbors in Auburndale, Queens, said animal-care authorities visited his home several times to check on his two German shepherds.

"He wasn't well-liked on the block," said Janine Menoutis, 31. "He rubbed people the wrong way."

Kiriakakis' bar, Pearl Restaurant and Lounge, had a reputation as a drug-friendly hangout, local merchants and bargoers said.

"All the neighborhood cokeheads go there," said a bartender at neighboring Cue Bar.

"Nick's a good guy and he runs a respected establishment," countered a bar worker.