East New York Man Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Fatally Bludgeoning Unarmed Man

Monday, November 19, 2018


East New York Man Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for
Fatally Bludgeoning Unarmed Man

Struck Victim with Metal Rod and Concrete

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 33-year-old man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for killing a 26-year-old man by bludgeoning him with a rod that was connected to a chunk of concrete during a confrontation on an East New York street.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant senselessly killed a beloved young man for absolutely no reason at all. Such wanton violence, which devastates families and destabilizes communities, will never be condoned and I hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of justice to the victim’s loved ones.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Kurt Heusel, 33, of East New York, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today to 18 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Miriam Cyrulnik following his conviction in August of first-degree manslaughter after a non-jury trial.

The District Attorney said that, according to testimony, on June 30, 2016, at approximately 1:30 a.m., at the vicinity of Elderts Lane and Dumont Avenue in East New York, the defendant killed Zuriyah Nasi Benyehudah, 26. The victim was a cook and delivery man who published a poetry book called Zuriano’s Black Book Volume 1.

The evidence showed that the defendant confronted the victim, falsely claiming he was trying to help a woman who was being stalked, and pinned him to the ground. He then grabbed a metal rod that had a chunk of concrete on the end and used it like a sledgehammer to strike the victim in the back of the head, killing him.

The defendant was arrested in October 2016.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Chow Xie, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Cory Jones of the Red Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Homicide Bureau Chief.