Suspect in dentist murder arraigned

Prosecutors introduce phone records
January 17, 2008 2:52:10 PM PST
There are new developments in the murder of a dentist gunned down in a playground, right in front of his young daughter. Investigators say they've uncovered dozens of calls between the suspect and the victim's wife, who is her uncle.

The man who police say murdered Daniel Malakov was in a Queens courtroom Thursday after being extradited from Georgia.

Eyewitness News reporter Stacey Sager has more.

They crowded into the courthouse to watch the arraignment today. And at times, they shouted in Russian at 50-year-old Mikhail Mallayev, who is now charged with second-degree murder.

"They were saying, 'Shoot him,'" the victim's brother, Gavriel Malakov said. "Some people were saying, 'Take his head off' in Russian. Some people were saying, 'Beat him up to death.'"

The case has shaken this immigrant community, because the murder victim, 34-year-old orthodontist Daniel Malakov, was was gunned down in broad daylight at a Forest Hills playground. The shooting happened right in front of his 4-year-old daughter.

Dr. Malakov had been involved in a bitter custody dispute with his estranged wife, Dr. Mazoltuv Borukhova, who has not been charged in the murder. But clearly, a cloud of suspicion remains around her and her family.

"Suffice it to say that Mr. Mallayev is the sole individual who has been indicted," Queens DA Richard Brown said. "Although the indictiment does suggest that others may be involved."

"We want to see them all going to jail," Gavriel Malakov said. "We feel that they were all involved."

Mallayev was arrested after his fingerprints matched those on this makeshift silencer found at the crime scene. But in court today, prosecutors outlined the relationship between Mallayev and the victim's estranged wife. They say phone records show he called her more than 65 times and that he was relying on her for medical advice.

Meanwhile, Mallayev's attorney, who describes his client as "respectful and quiet," urged the community not to try and convict him just yet.

"He's presumed innocent, as anybody would be in America at this stage," attorney Michael Siff said. "I hope everybody remembers that."

But for the father of the murder victim, who also has old world ideas about justice, that's a very tough thing to do.

"The killer have to be hanged," Khaika Malakov said. "Killed. Killer have to be done. Killed."

Mallayev will be in court again on Tuesday.