FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 15 Years to Life in Prison for Fatal Shooting
Defendant Dropped Victim Off at his Home,
Returned Hours Later and Shot Him Twice in the Face
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a man inside the victim’s Sunset Park residence, a single room occupancy hotel. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant executed the victim in cold blood, shooting him at close range as he slept in his bed. Thanks to the quick action of law-enforcement he was apprehended as he attempted to flee the state, and this sentence ensures that he is held accountable for this shocking and heartless murder.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Sam Chen, 44, of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice to 15 years to life in prison. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on June 9, 2022.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on June 26, 2019, at approximately 8:16 a.m., the defendant was captured on video surveillance driving a 2014 Nissan NV3 at 51st Street, near 7th Avenue, in Sunset Park. He and the victim then got out of the vehicle and entered the hotel; the defendant was captured leaving the hotel shortly thereafter.
At approximately 12:45 p.m., the defendant was captured on surveillance video returning to the hotel where the victim was staying, putting on a surgical mask and entering the victim’s building. Soon after, he was captured on surveillance video leaving the building and still wearing the surgical mask.
The victim’s body was discovered in his bed two days later, on June 28, 2019, at approximately 1 p.m., by the cleaning staff. He suffered two gunshot wounds to his forehead. Police recovered two 9mm shell casings at the scene. The victim was identified as Da Li, age 46.
Investigators executed a search warrant on the defendant’s vehicle and recovered a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a loaded magazine inside of a black plastic bag, which matched ballistic evidence recovered at the victim’s hotel room.
The defendant was apprehended at John F. Kennedy International Airport on July 3, 2019, as he was boarding a flight to California.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Chow Yun Xie, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Stephanie D. Quon, of the District Attorney’s Orange Zone Trial Bureau, under the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini, Homicide Bureau Chief.