One year after a legal aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was shot and killed in Brooklyn, a fifth suspect has been indicted by a grand jury. The 31-year-old accused gang member was taken into custody in California and then extradited to New York on Sept. 10. He now faces charges of second-degree murder and a sentence of 25 years to life if convicted.
The shooting incident occurred on Sept. 7, 2015, during the annual Caribbean J’Ouvert celebration. The victim, who was born in Jamaica and educated at Harvard University, was struck in the head by a stray bullet on Bedford Avenue in the early hours of the morning. He died a few days later as a result of his injuries. Sources indicate that the murder was not politically motivated, and gang activity is suspected.
Along with the recently indicted suspect, three other alleged gang members, all males between the ages of 21 and 24, have been charged with second-degree murder. Additionally, a 25-year-old male is facing weapons charges in relation to the incident. The suspect’s case is likely to be consolidated with his co-defendants.
Felony convictions, even if it is a suspect’s first offense, can result in harsh penalties, including lengthy incarceration. Those who are facing serious charges, such as murder, robbery or felony possession of a weapon, may wish to seek guidance from a criminal defense attorney who will review the facts of the case in order to determine how to proceed. If evidence was obtained illegally or the criminal investigation was inconclusive, an attorney may be able to argue for a reduced sentence.
Source: The Daily Observer, ‘Fifth suspect charged in murder of Jamaican-born legal aide to NY Governor,” Sept. 9, 2016