Co-owner of The Stand killed

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 27-year-old Joseph Porter for the murder of 40-year-old David Kimowitz, co-owner of The Stand comedy club in Union Square, and his live-in au pair, 26-year-old Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez early Saturday morning on August 3.

The New York Times reported that Porter was the boyfriend of Bermudez-Rodriguez and he was charged with two counts of murder, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal restraint.

The Times reported that police responded to a 911 call to the Maplewood, NJ home around sunrise reporting that a woman was being assaulted, and when police arrived, they found Bermudez-Rodriguez lying in the street, critically injured. She was transported to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, where she later died.

According to the criminal complaint, Bermudez-Rodriguez and Porter had communicated via text on the night of the murders and Bermudez-Rodriguez had written that she wanted to break up with Porter, who then responded that he was upset with her because she was trying to end the relationship.

The New York Post reported that Kimowitz and Bermudez-Rodriguez had both been stabbed. Kimowitz’s wife and their two preschool-age daughters were reportedly not in the house at the time because they were spending the weekend at the Jersey Shore.

Neighbors reported seeing Porter around the neighborhood, allegedly stalking Bermudez-Rodriguez in the days before the attack, sitting in a parked car nearby and also watching her during a party from nearby woods. According to the Post, Porter was caught hours after the incident occurred.

The Stand comedy club was originally on Third Avenue next to Paddy Maguire’s but moved to a bigger spot at 116 East 16th Street in Union Square in June 2018, signing a lease on the space after a Mediterranean restaurant didn’t go forward with the deal.

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