Brooklyn Man Convicted for Killing Teen in Christmas Eve Shooting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 14, 2016

 

Brooklyn Man Convicted for Killing Teen in Christmas Eve Shooting

Struck Victim Seven Times following Argument on Facebook

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 20-year-old man from Coney Island, Brooklyn has been convicted of murder for shooting a teenager who was walking his dog on Christmas Eve 2013. An argument on Facebook preceded the fatal incident.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant escalated an online dispute into a deadly shooting. He took a life for no reason at all and will now pay for it dearly by spending many years in prison.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Jerome Leslie, 20, of 2820 West 32nd Street in Coney Island, Brooklyn. He was convicted today of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog. The defendant will be sentenced on May 4, 2016 at which time he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on December 24, 2013 at about 7 p.m., the defendant shot and killed Yaquin English, 17, outside 3144 Bayview Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Moments earlier, the defendant went to the victim’s apartment building, looking for him. A short time later, the victim got off the elevator with his dog, a pit-bull. Before he re-entered the building, the defendant opened fire, striking the victim seven times, killing him, the evidence showed. The dog, which was tied to a railing, sustained a wound to the paw.

In the weeks leading up to the shooting, the victim engaged in an argument on Facebook regarding his female cousin, who was romantically involved with the defendant. Leslie threatened to kill English during the online correspondence, a witness testified.

The defendant was arrested in February 2014 and subsequently made a statement to detectives, admitting his involvement in the shooting.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Matthew Stewart of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Kenneth Taub, Chief.

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Brooklyn Man Convicted of Fatally Shooting Another after Altercation

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 8, 2016

 

Brooklyn Man Convicted of Fatally Shooting Another after Altercation

Shot Victim Three Times Following Confrontation on Sunset Park Stoop

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 25-year-old Brooklyn man has been convicted of murder for shooting another man to death after they had a confrontation in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Another victim was shot in the leg.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant shot and killed a man after an altercation had ended.  He will now pay dearly for committing such deadly violence.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Valentin Torres, 25, of 538 82nd Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He was convicted today of second-degree murder, second-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Alan Marrus, who set sentencing for May 6, 2016. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 32 years to life in prison.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, at approximately 1 a.m. on August 25, 2013, the defendant was sitting outside 744 39th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn when he was approached by Johnny Rosado, 35. The two got into a fight over a comment the defendant purportedly made to a woman, according to testimony.

The defendant pulled out a revolver, effectively ending the confrontation, according to witnesses. He then fired the gun multiple times, striking Rosado three times and also hitting another man in the leg. The defendant was arrested in New Jersey about two weeks later.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Melissa Carvajal, Deputy Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Kenneth Taub, Chief.

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Midwood Travel Agent Indicted For Stealing More Than $350,000 From Over 25 Pakistani Customers; Travel Packages, Tickets Never Purchased

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 7, 2016

 

Midwood Travel Agent Indicted For Stealing More Than $350,000 From
Over 25 Pakistani Customers; Travel Packages, Tickets Never Purchased

In Addition to Losing Hard-Earned Savings, Victims Missed Pilgrimages to Mecca,
Family Celebrations, Including a Wedding

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a travel agent in Midwood has been arraigned on a 31-count indictment in which he is charged with scheme to defraud, grand larceny and other charges for allegedly taking more than $350,000 from Pakistani immigrants for whom he was supposed to make travel arrangements. Instead, it is alleged, he pocketed their money.

District Attorney Thompson said, “Many of the victims were hardworking Pakistani immigrants who trusted the defendant and were cheated out of a lifelong dream of taking a pilgrimage to Mecca. We will now vindicate their rights and make sure that the defendant goes to prison for stealing their money and destroying their dreams.”

The District Attorney said that the defendant, Junaid Mirza, 50, of Brooklyn, and his companies, Pearl USA Travel Inc., d/b/a Pearl Travel, of 1064 Coney Island Avenue, in Midwood, and Travel Treat, Inc. , formerly located in the Empire State Building, in Manhattan, was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino on a 31-count indictment in which he is charged with two counts of first-degree scheme to defraud, one count of second-degree money laundering, eight counts of third-degree grand larceny, six counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, 10 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and four counts of issuing a bad check.  He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, between July 2011 and  September  2015, the defendant, at various times, owned and operated travel agencies, doing business as Travel Treat and Pearl Travel, that specialized in the sale of  travel packages to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and airline tickets to Pakistani immigrants. He advertised discounted trips and tickets in widely-read Urdu language newspapers such as the Pakistan Post and Urdu Times, and in pamphlets distributed in mosques.

All physically and financially capable Muslims must make at least one Hajj, or trip to Mecca, in the fall, once in their lifetime. A Muslim cannot incur debt for their Hajj, making this for many a once-in-a-lifetime event.  An Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca that can be taken at any time of the year. Among the victims are taxi cab drivers, home health aides, postal workers and Uber drivers.

It is alleged that the defendant stole amounts ranging from approximately $1,075 to $14,000 from his victims, many of whom he spoke to in Urdu, gaining their trust. The victims paid more than $6,000 per person for a Hajj package, which was supposed to include round-trip airfare, hotels and visas.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, Mirza defrauded his customers in various ways, including guaranteeing low fares in exchange for payment by cash or check, which he would deposit the same day, but failed to provide airline tickets, or in some instances provided victims with receipts and printouts, which he claimed were tickets.

Some of the victims, it is alleged, realized he had not purchased tickets when they called the airline to arrange a special meal or to change a seat number. Others found out when they arrived at the airport, including a bride and her mother, who as a result missed part of the wedding festivities in Pakistan. Other victims, including a parent traveling alone with three young children, were stranded in an airport in Pakistan when they were told by airline staff that the defendant had never purchased their return flight. One non-Pakistani victim and his guests almost missed his granddaughter’s Bat Mitzvah, in Tel Aviv, due to the defendant’s alleged deception.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this defendant is urged to call the District Attorney’s Action Center at 718-250-2340.

The case was investigated by Detective Investigator Justin Gray, of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau, under the supervision of Supervising Detective Investigator Phillip O’Rourke and Deputy Chief William Pettie.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Sabrina Thanse, of the District Attorney’s Immigrant Fraud Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kin Ng, Chief of the Immigrant Fraud Unit, and Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Breaking into Woman’s Home and Assaulting Arresting Officer

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 7, 2016

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for
Breaking into Woman’s Home and Assaulting Arresting Officer

Kicked in Victim’s Door after Argument in Store, Acted Violently during Arrest and at Trial

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 25-year-old man from East New York, Brooklyn, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for breaking into a home and attacking a woman with whom he had an argument and for later assaulting a detective who processed him after his arrest.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant violently attacked a woman inside her apartment over nothing, struck an NYPD detective and continued his senseless acts of violence during the trial.  Today’s sentence ensures that he’ll be locked up for many years and protects public safety.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Elsun Wheeler, 25, of 2726 Linden Boulevard in East New York, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice to 15 years for his conviction of second-degree burglary and seven years for his conviction of second-degree assault of a police officer, to run consecutively, for a total sentence of 22 years in prison. The defendant was convicted on March 4, 2016 following a jury trial.

The District Attorney said that, according to evidence at trial, on the day before the first incident, the defendant shoved a 29-year-old woman at the checkout of a local bodega, on the corner of Hegeman and Montauk Avenues in East New York. After an argument, the defendant said, “I will see you tonight.” On April 20, 2014 at about 2:50 a.m., the defendant banged on the door of the woman’s apartment at 407 Montauk Avenue. When the woman looked through the peephole, he kicked the door open and punched the victim repeatedly in her face and body. He stated, “If I see you again, I will kill you” and fled. The victim suffered bruising and pain and had to move because she feared for her life.

The defendant’s photo was obtained from his Facebook page and his identity was confirmed through facial recognition software. On October 28, 2014, the defendant was arrested by the NYPD Warrant Squad and brought to the 75th Precinct stationhouse. When Detective Waziri Rumala tried to photograph the defendant and record his fingerprints, the defendant resisted and struck the officer’s mouth with his hand, causing laceration and swelling to the lip, according to trial testimony.

The defendant continued his aggressive and uncooperative behavior during his trial and had to be banned from the courtroom. He was sentenced to additional 30 days in jail after disrupting the sentencing.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Katherine Fernandez and Samantha Thomas of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau I, Red Zone, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Joseph Alexis, Red Zone Chief.

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Brooklyn Man Sentenced to up to 14 Years in Prison for Stealing Nearly $35,000 from Personal CitiBank Accounts

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 4, 2016

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to up to 14 Years in Prison for
Stealing Nearly $35,000 from Personal CitiBank Accounts

Used Fraudulent New Jersey Driver’s License on 12 Occasions to
Withdraw Funds from Victim’s Bank Accounts

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 31-year-old Brooklyn man was sentenced to a term of seven to 14 years in prison for stealing nearly $35,000 from CitiBank checking and savings accounts by using a forged driver’s license bearing the victim’s name. The defendant made the illegal withdrawals inside Brooklyn bank branches on eleven occasions in June 2013 and was caught when he attempted to obtain cash from the accounts a twelfth time.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant brazenly raided a stranger’s bank account after stealing his identity. He was caught, prosecuted and is now going straight to prison where he belongs.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Barrington Folkes, 31, of 2311 Cortelyou Road in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Ruth Shillingford to an indeterminate term of seven to 14 years in prison following his conviction on February 8, 2016 on multiple counts of third-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and first-degree identity theft after a jury trial. The defendant was convicted of thirty-two counts in total.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, the defendant, on 11 occasions, withdrew sums ranging from $2,000 to nearly $4,700 from one checking account and one savings account belonging to the victim. In most instances, the defendant presented a New Jersey driver’s license bearing the victim’s name and the defendant’s picture, and used the victim’s Social Security number to gain access to the accounts. The defendant signed transaction slips in the victim’s name to complete the withdrawals.

On June 17, 2013, he made a withdrawal from a CitiBank branch at 885 Flatbush Avenue. About an hour later, he made two withdrawals (one from each account) from a CitiBank branch at 702 Utica Avenue. On the afternoons of June 20 and June 21, he made two withdrawals each day from the 855 Flatbush Avenue location. On the morning of June 24, he returned to that same branch and again made two withdrawals. Later that afternoon, he made two withdrawals from a branch at 1992 Ralph Avenue.

The investigation found that on June 25, 2013, the accounts holder checked his balance and found that a large sum was missing. He contacted CitiBank and was told to report that to his branch. First thing the next morning, he went to his local branch and filled out the necessary paperwork.

Later that day, on June 26, 2013, at approximately 11:25 a.m., the defendant returned to the Flatbush Avenue location and presented the forged driver’s license again. The teller showed the license to the manager on duty and 911 was called. When the police arrived, the defendant fled the location on foot.  Lieutenant Sean Collins chased and apprehended the defendant one block away.

The District Attorney thanked CitiBank for their assistance with the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sasha Pemberton and Assistant District Attorney Joshua Lee of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau IV, Green Zone, under the supervision of David Klestzick, Bureau Chief.

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Long Island Man Sentenced for Stealing Nearly $500,000 from Jazz Legend

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 4, 2016

 

Long Island Man Sentenced for Stealing Nearly $500,000 from Jazz Legend

Defendant Directed Japanese Foundation to Send 85-Year-Old Victim’s
Prize Money to Bank Account He Controlled

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Nassau County man has been sentenced to one to three years in prison following his guilty plea to second-degree grand larceny in connection with the theft of almost a half-million dollars in prize money that a Japanese foundation had awarded to famed jazz musician Cecil Taylor for winning the prestigious Kyoto Award.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant shamefully bilked an elderly, vulnerable man out of a half of million dollars in prize money that he received in recognition of his great talent and enormous contributions to jazz. In doing so, the defendant pretended to be Cecil Taylor’s friend, but this guilty plea and sentence show that he was just a thief.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Noel Muir, 55, of 79 Argyle Avenue, in Uniondale, New York. He was sentenced today to one to three years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Ruth Shillingford, following his guilty plea last month to one count of second-degree grand larceny. The defendant also signed a confession of judgment in the amount of $292,722. He previously returned $200,000 to the victim.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the defendant is a general contractor who was working on a brownstone in Fort Greene located next door to the residence of Cecil Taylor, a well-known jazz musician who, among other honors, was a past recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship – widely known as a “genius grant.”

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on June 21, 2013, the Inamori Foundation of Japan announced that Cecil Taylor was one of three recipients of the 2013 Kyoto Award, an international award honoring those who have significantly contributed to humankind’s scientific, cultural and spiritual development. The award came with a cash gift of 50 million yen, or, approximately $500,000. Each recipient is flown to Japan to receive the award.

The District Attorney further said that, according to the investigation, the defendant, who had befriended Mr. Taylor, helped with the preparations for the trip, including accompanying Mr. Taylor to Japan on November 6, 2013, and arranging for the receipt of the award money, but instructed the Inamori Foundation to send the prize money to his own Citibank account. Instruction documents sent by the defendant to Inamori falsely stated that the name on the account is The Cecil Taylor Foundation, when, in fact, the name on the account is actually MCAI Construction, which is the defendant’s company.

A review of the defendant’s Citibank account showed that the prize money, $492,722.55, was wired into the account on November 20, 2013, but the account was later depleted.

The District Attorney’s office filed a civil asset forfeiture action against the defendant in Brooklyn Supreme Court in an effort to recover the money he stole from Mr. Taylor. That case is pending.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Karen P. Turner, of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Sara Walshe, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Dana Roth, Deputy Bureau Chief and Felice Sontupe, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.

The asset forfeiture proceeding is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Genovese of the District Attorney’s Asset Forfeiture and Tax Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Gregory P. Mitchell, Bureau Chief.

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67-Year-Old Man Sentenced to 20 Years to Life in Prison for Murder Of 23-Year-Old Brooklyn Father

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

 

67-Year-Old Man Sentenced to 20 Years to Life in Prison for
Murder Of 23-Year-Old Brooklyn Father

Defendant Stabbed Victim during Dispute

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 67-year-old man was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the 2013 stabbing death of a Brooklyn man in Sunset Park. He received an additional six years in prison for assaulting another man who tried to aid the victim.

District Attorney Thompson said, “Two young children will grow up without a father all because of this defendant’s senseless acts of violence, for which he now will spend essentially the rest of his life behind bars.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Juan Ramos, 67, of 239 55th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice to 20 years to life in prison following his conviction last month at a jury trial on charges of second-degree murder and an additional six years for his conviction on charges of second-degree assault. The judge ordered the sentences to run consecutive.

According to trial testimony, on September 29, 2013, at approximately 3 p.m., the defendant fatally stabbed Giovanni Rodriguez-Arias following an argument. The victim, 23, was stabbed in the stomach and arm with a knife hidden beneath the defendant’s sweater. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. A second victim was stabbed in the hand while attempting to resolve the dispute.

Shortly after the incident, the defendant was identified by the New York Police Department as a suspect in Mr. Rodriguez-Arias’ fatal stabbing and a wanted poster with the defendant’s photo was released to the public. Following a tip, the defendant was apprehended on the roof of a Sunset Park building.

The case was investigated by Detective Elson Winchester and Detective Albert Lamoglia of the New York City Police Department’s 72nd Precinct.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ernest Chin of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Taub, Bureau Chief.

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Three Sentenced For Targeting Immigrants in Green Card Scam

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

 

Three Sentenced For Targeting Immigrants in Green Card Scam

One Impersonated NYPD Officer, Said He Could Get Documents for a Fee

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that three defendants have been sentenced in connection with a scheme in which they stole more than $8,000 from two victims by falsely promising to help them obtain green cards and other government documents. Two of the defendants were arrested in Lebanon, Pennsylvania and extradited to Brooklyn in November 2015.

District Attorney Thompson said, “These defendants preyed on some of the most vulnerable members of our community and exploited their desires to achieve the American dream. Equally troubling is that a defendant posed as a New York City police officer to further this scheme to defraud–potentially damaging an often hidden community’s trust in law enforcement. As DA, I’m committed to stopping such con artists from targeting and ripping off members of our immigrant communities.”

The defendants, Richard Gomez, 44, and Marisol Mercado, 43, were apprehended in Lebanon, Pennsylvania on October 23, 2015 and returned to Brooklyn on November 9, 2015.

Defendant Gomez was sentenced today to an indeterminate term of one to three years imprisonment following his guilty plea on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 to charges of third-degree grand larceny. Defendant Mercado was sentenced to a conditional discharge following her guilty plea on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 to charges of first-degree attempted criminal impersonation. A third defendant, Francisco Mercado, was also sentenced to conditional discharge following his guilty plea on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 to charges of second-degree criminal impersonation.  All three defendants were sentenced by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny K. Chun.

The District Attorney said that, between June 18, 2015 and September 3, 2015, Gomez falsely claimed to be an NYPD Sergeant named “Sergeant Russo” and with the assistance of Marisol and Francisco Mercado took money from the victims in exchange for Gomez’s assistance with various government documents, including green cards. The defendants also claimed “Sergeant Russo” could get a liquor license for the victims’ restaurant in Bushwick.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, Gomez first approached his victims seeking a donation for the New York City Police Department—to which the victims would give cash. Gomez continued this ruse to convince his victims to hand over money in exchange for his assistance with various applications to government agencies.

In one instance, Gomez secured a $2,100 loan from a victim but upon repayment the check was declined due to insufficient funds.

In another instance, defendant Marisol Mercado called a victim demanding an additional $6,000 to fix an alleged problem with the immigration paperwork for the victim’s husband.  Gomez threatened deportation if the victim did not pay.

If you believe you have been a victim of Immigrant Fraud, please call the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Immigrant Fraud Helpline at 718-250-3333.

The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detectives Edward Myles and Carl Locke of the Police Impersonation Investigation Unit, under the supervision of Lieutenant Gerard Hirschfield, and overall supervision of Deputy Commissioner Joseph J. Reznick of the Internal Affairs Bureau.

The District Attorney also thanked Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Neal Navitsky and Detective Sergeant John Hess of the Lebanon Police Department for their cooperation and assistance in the apprehension of the defendants.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jose Interiano of the District Attorney’s Immigrant Fraud Unit, under the supervision of Kin Ng, Chief of the Immigrant Fraud Unit, and Trish McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the Investigations Division.

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Brooklyn Man Indicted for Attempted Murder of Two Police Officers Following Early Morning Chase in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 24, 2016

 

Brooklyn Man Indicted for Attempted Murder of Two Police Officers
Following Early Morning Chase in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick

Faces up to 50 Years to Life in Prison if Convicted

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Brooklyn man was arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with first-degree attempted murder of a police officer and other charges for shooting at two police officers after menacing several officers and at least one civilian with a silver revolver in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant tried to kill multiple police officers, endangered many other innocent people and will now certainly be held accountable for all of the chaos and gun violence that he caused on the streets of Brooklyn. This case once again underscores the dangers our police officers face every day to keep us all safe.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Fredrick Funes, 34. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Miller on a 37-count indictment in which he is charged with first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, attempted aggravated murder, second-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault upon a police officer and other charges. The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on June 2, 2016.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on February 20, 2016, at approximately 3:20 a.m., there was a shot spotter activation (a report of shots fired) in the vicinity of Malcolm X Boulevard and Quincy Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant. At approximately the same time, the defendant was allegedly spotted driving a Nissan Maxima recklessly in the vicinity of Malcolm X Boulevard, then driving the wrong way on Quincy Street. Shortly thereafter, the defendant spotted two uniformed police officers in a marked police car and allegedly pointed a silver gun at them.

Furthermore, according to the investigation, the defendant continued driving and allegedly spotted a uniformed Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker and pointed a silver gun at him. The MTA worker then flagged down officers who were already searching for the defendant, pointing them in his direction.

As he fled, the defendant allegedly passed an unmarked police car with four officers inside and pointed a silver gun at them. As the pursuit continued, the defendant drove the wrong way down Lexington Avenue and arrived at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard at the same time that a marked police car from the 83rd precinct was turning the right way from Malcolm X Boulevard onto Lexington Avenue. As the marked car made the turn, the defendant sped up and crashed into it. Following the crash, the defendant began firing at the officers and they returned fire.

Police Officer Andrew Yurkiw was shot in the chest, but was saved by his bulletproof vest. Police Officer Reddin was shot in the lower back/hip area and required surgery.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Chief of the District Attorney’s Grey Zone Trial Bureau, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorneys Krystyn Tendy and Steven Michelen, also of the Grey Zone.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson’s Statement Regarding the Upcoming Sentencing of Peter Liang

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson’s Statement
Regarding the Upcoming Sentencing of Peter Liang

“Peter Liang was indicted, prosecuted and subsequently convicted by a jury because his reckless actions caused an innocent man to lose his life. There is no evidence, however, that he intended to kill or injure Akai Gurley. When Mr. Liang went into that building that night, he did so as part of his job and to keep the people of Brooklyn and our city safe.

In sentencing a defendant, the facts of the crime and the particular characteristics of that person must be considered. Mr. Liang has no prior criminal history and poses no future threat to public safety. Because his incarceration is not necessary to protect the public, and due to the unique circumstances of this case, a prison sentence is not warranted.

Justice will be best served if Mr. Liang is sentenced to five years of probation, with the condition that he serves six months of home confinement with electric monitoring and performs 500 hours of community service. I have provided this sentencing recommendation to Justice Chun.

As I have said before, there are no winners here. But the sentence that I have requested is just and fair under the circumstances of this case. From the beginning, this tragic case has always been about justice and not about revenge.” 

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