Brooklyn Man Sentenced for Stabbing Death of Girlfriend in Residential Mental Health Facility

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Brooklyn Man Sentenced for Stabbing Death of
Girlfriend in Residential Mental Health Facility

Defendant to Serve 25 Years to Life in State Prison

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 52-year-old man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for stabbing to death his 48-year-old girlfriend at a residential facility for people with mental health diagnoses, where they both lived.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant brutally attacked his girlfriend and left her to die in a hallway. He should now spend many years in prison to punish him and to protect society.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Benjamin Braxton, 52, formerly of 330 MacDougal Street, in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The defendant was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Harrington. He was convicted of one count of second-degree murder last month following a jury trial.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on May 3, 2013, at approximately 1:40 p.m., the defendant and his girlfriend of one year, Raynell Howington, 48, who were both residents of The MacDougal Street Apartments, run by Concern for Independent Living, at 330 MacDougal Street, and had met at the residence, were both in the computer room at the facility when the defendant slashed the victim numerous times with a box cutter on her neck and legs.

The defendant left the room when someone opened the door, according to testimony. Howington managed to crawl to the door and open it, at which point the defendant dragged her out into the hallway and kicked and slashed her repeatedly. That part of the attack was captured on a surveillance video in the hallway.

Howington died at the scene of neck wounds, including injuries to the trachea and right internal jugular vein. The defendant fled the scene, according to testimony, but was arrested the next day when he attempted to visit a friend at a shelter in Manhattan who saw news reports about the attack and called police.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Joan Erskine, of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, under the supervision of Michelle L. Kaminsky, Bureau Chief.