Othniel Askew

From Academic Kids

Othniel Boaz Askew (1972-July 23, 2003) was an aspiring politician who shot and killed his rival James E. Davis, a New York City councilman.

Othniel Askew, who often went by 'Neil', graduated from Long Island's C.W. Post College. Askew was arrested in 1993 on Long Island for driving under the influence of alcohol. In 1996 he attacked his boyfriend Mario Romero, who claimed that Askew "repeatedly struck [him] over his head, face and body with a hammer," causing injuries which required hospitalization. According to court records, Askew was HIV positive, and AIDS medication was found at his townhouse.

Three hours before Askew murdered James Davis, a caller identifying himself as Askew told the FBI that Davis said he would pay him $45,000 and give him a $15,000 no-show job if he dropped out of the race. The offer seems unlikely since although Askew had filed initial papers to run against Davis in the Democratic primary, he did not file his nominating petitions before the deadline. Askew also claimed that Davis, a former police officer, had threatened to release information about his criminal past and his homosexuality.

On July 23, 2003, Davis brought Askew to attend a Council meeting at New York City's City Hall, believing that he had convinced his adversary to join his campaign. The councilman and Askew were able to bypass the metal detectors, a courtesy offered to elected officials and their guests. At 2:08 p.m., Askew fired a silver .40 caliber weapon at Davis, striking him twice in the chest. Davis, a retired police officer, was carrying a weapon but it remained holstered. A plainclothes policeman, Richard Burt, then shot Askew, striking him five times. Paramedics arrived quickly, and attempted to revive both Davis and Askew before taking them to New York University's Beekman Downtown Hospital, but both died.

It transpired after the murder that Askew had asked Davis to sign papers naming him as Davis's replacement in case anything happened to Davis.

The gun used by Askew was a Kahr MK40 semi-automatic pistol in .40 S&W caliber.

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