FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 23, 2018
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Prison for Killing his Ex-Girlfriend in
Brooklyn Bridge Park after Stalking and Threatening Her
Shot Victim Once in the Head as She spoke on Cell Phone; Stalked her Days Before;
Facebook Messages Showed Weeks of Growing Obsession after Breakup
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 55-year-old Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison following his conviction of murder and other charges for shooting his 23-year-old ex-girlfriend once in the head after she left her job in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The defendant was increasingly obsessive and threatening in the weeks before the homicide and physically stalked the victim in the days leading up to her death.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The senseless murder of a promising young woman at the hands of this defendant was devastating and cruel, coming on the heels of an unacceptable campaign to terrorize her. I hope that today’s sentence brings a small measure of solace to her grieving loved-ones. My Office will continue to investigate all cases of domestic violence to ensure justice for victims.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Lamont Wright, 55, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Hecht to 25 years to life in prison following his conviction earlier this month of second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and stalking after a jury trial.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on June 6, 2016, at about 9:20 p.m., the victim, 23-year-old Michelle Marks, left Fornino’s restaurant in Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she worked as a waitress, and was walking toward her bus stop. She was talking on the phone with her boyfriend at the time when the defendant’s voice was heard in the background. The victim then said to her boyfriend, “Babe, he’s here, call the police, he’s got a gun,” at which point the call dropped. The victim was found shortly thereafter at the bus stop, bleeding from the head, and was subsequently declared dead.
The evidence showed that one day earlier, the defendant – with whom Ms. Marks broke up some time before – waited for the victim in the lobby of her Crown Heights building and followed her to her apartment door, where he pushed her, scattering groceries. Her boyfriend and mother intervened and the defendant fled by the time police arrived.
Three days prior to that, on June 2, 2016, the victim was walking with a co-worker in Brooklyn Bridge Park and saw the defendant waiting for her. She told the co-worker, “Look, there’s my stalker.” Later that night, when the two workers were on a cigarette break near Pier 6, the defendant jumped out of bushes and confronted the victim about her “kissing this white boy.”
The defendant was taken into custody on June 7, 2016 and charged with the incidents that preceded the murder. He claimed that he was home on the evening of June 6 and that he was speaking with a girl named “Emily from Ohio.”
An analysis of cell site data proved that the defendant was in the vicinity of the crime scene at the time of the murder and not in his home, located over five miles away. Facebook messages between him and the victim from May 15, 2016 through the day of the murder showed that Ms. Marks wanted to end their relationship but the defendant refused to accept that, with some of his messages being threatening or obsessive. In one audio message, he said, “I promise you you’re not done with me because either I’m gonna wind up in jail or I’m gonna wind up in a grave.”
Finally, a search warrant executed on the Facebook account of “Emily from Ohio” revealed that the defendant communicated with her before and after the homicide. Audio messages described the June 5 incident outside the victim’s apartment and, in another disturbing audio message, the defendant stated that ‘if he blew her f—ing brains out, everyone would say he did something wrong.’ The defendant was subsequently charged with Ms. Marks’s murder.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaminsky, Chief of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Anne Volk of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, under the supervision of Mark Feldman, Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney for Crime Strategy and Investigations.