After going on a date, the pair went back to the nurse’s apartment where she was killed by the man. Now he has been formally indicted for the crime.
According to the Queens District Attorney’s office, 31-year-old Danueal Drayton was indicted late last week by a Queens County grand jury and following his extradition to New York.
Drayton was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court and charged with murder, sexual misconduct, grand larceny and other crimes for the strangulation death of the 29-year-old nurse, Samantha Stewart, who was killed after a date on that unfortunate night with the defendant in July 2018.
In a written statement, District Attorney Melissa Katz stated, “This family deserves justice. This was a brutal crime that makes every person using a dating app fearful. The victim was duped into going out on a date with the defendant, who played a charmer online but was in fact an alleged sexual predator. The defendant is accused of brutally beating and then killing this innocent woman in her own home. After this heinous act of violence, the defendant fled the state to escape prosecution. Now back in our custody, this defendant will be held to account for his alleged actions.”
According to court documents, Stewart met Drayton on the popular dating app Tinder. The two met when they had a date on July 16, 2018, and headed back to her residence on 145th Road home in Springfield Gardens, Queens.
On that day, the defendant allegedly beat and strangled her and then engaged in sexual conduct with her dead body.
The next day on July 17, 2018, Stewart’s brother found her body covered in a blanket left on the floor in the corner of her bedroom. Drayton allegedly took her credit cards and left the scene of the crime in a white van that was found at Kennedy International Airport the next day. He allegedly bought a ticket to fly to California using one of her credit cards. On July 24, 2018, he was taken into custody in Los Angeles by members of the NYPD’s Fugitive Task Force.
Drayton was arraigned last week before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder on an 18-count indictment. He has been charged with murder in the second degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, petit larceny, sexual misconduct, identity theft in the second and third degree, unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree, and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.
He is slated to return to court on May 23, 2022. Drayton faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.