Monday, August 10, 2009

Two brothers arrested in murder of Holocaust survivor Felix Brinkmann

From the Daily News by Melissa Grace and Alison Gendar:

Two sicko siblings with 50 prior arrests were busted Friday in the slaying and robbery of a feisty Holocaust survivor.

Aljulah Cutts(photo to the right),27, was one of two killers inside the upper East Side apartment of Felix Brinkmann when the 90-year-old was asphyxiated during a botched robbery, police sources said.

Cutts insisted "he didn't mean to kill Brinkmann, it was an accident," one source said after the arrest outside a Bronx restaurant.

His brother, 30-year-old Hasib Cutts(photo to the left), drove the getaway car after the July 29 killing, the sources said. He was arrested in a van near his brother's place.

The duo were low-level hoods busted in the past for street crimes ranging from stolen property to trespassing, sources said.

The slain man's son praised the arrests. "Now I can work on a memorial celebration for my father, to celebrate his life," said Rick Brinkmann.

The brothers have 50 prior arrests between them, a mix of low-level charges for criminal possession of stolen property, trespass and marijuana.

Hasib was not involved in the killing, and should face lesser charges, sources said. Both brothers were in custody at the 19th Precinct, where they were appearing in lineups.

Brinkmann's doorman identified Aljulah Cutts as the man who went upstairs into Brinkmann's apartment with Angela Murray, the sources said.

Murray's jailed boyfriend apparently hooked her up with the Cutts brothers after she identified Brinkmann as an wealthy and easy mark, sources said.

But Murray and Aljulah Cutts were stunned by "what a tough old guy he was," a police source said. It was unclear if Brinkmann was choked to death manually or accidentally asphyxiated during the robbery, the source said.

Murray, 30, was charged with murder and robbery for killing Brinkmann in his fourth-floor apartment. She and a man were later captured on videotape using one of the victim's credit cards, police said.

Police said Brinkmann was bound, beaten and choked after he refused to surrender the combinations to a pair of safes in his apartment.

The killers lugged one of the safes downstairs. Brinkmann's car was also stolen and recovered later in the Bronx.

The ex-owner of a Manhattan disco fought for his life. He was found with his hands bound and bloody head wounds.

Police said Brinkmann was killed after refusing to surrender the combinations to two safes. Cutts fled with one safe, but couldn't crack it; sources said it was recovered with jewelry and Brinkmann's ID still inside. Brinkmann's Honda Accord was also stolen.

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