2008_05_sirob.jpgPolice arrested a man with a criminal history in the Wednesday night robbery-murder of a Staten Island liquor store owner. Though 67-year-old Elgudzha Koyenishvili tried to defend himself with a baseball bat, John Lanorth had a gun and shot him at least twice before taking the cash reigster and fleeing the scene.

Witnesses had described the suspect as a white man, 5'7", wearing jeans and a blue hooded sweatshirt, and one took down the killer's truck's license plate number. It turned out the truck was lent to Lanorith, and the Staten Island Advance reports that cops charged him with first-degree murder after witnesses positively ID'd him. Lanoith's previous brushes with the law includes various burglaries, landing him in state prison twice.

Residents and customers of Koyenishwili's Grant City store were very upset. They remembered him as a loving shopkeeper who made the neighborhood more friendly; one told the Advance, "Two nights ago, I was in there buying wine for dinner and he was playing with my daughter. He was a wonderful, proud man. He had pictures of his family and grandchildren covering the wall."