FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 30 Years to Life in Prison
For Killing Another Man in Dispute Over Money
Key Witness Traveled to U.S. from Poland with Help from Federal Authorities
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 55-year-old Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for killing a man outside of a homeless shelter during a dispute over money in 2015. The defendant was convicted in a retrial where a new witness testified after being located in Poland. That witness traveled back to the U.S. with help from the District Attorneys Detective Investigators assigned to the Homicide Bureau and agents from Homeland Security Investigations.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant senselessly took the life of another man and, with today’s sentence, has been held responsible for this inexcusable crime. I am grateful to the dedicated prosecutors in my office, and to Homeland Security that assisted in securing a key witness, for ensuring that justice was done in this case.”
Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, New York, said, “HSI New York’s global reach and commitment to rectifying injustices was instrumental in securing Brannon’s conviction for his heinous crimes. This sentencing is a testament to the cooperation between the HSI New York Document & Benefit Fraud Task Force and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and showcases their shared pursuit of justice.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Keith Brannon, 55, formerly of East New York, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Hecht to 30 years to life in prison. The defendant was convicted of second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and first-degree attempted robbery on September 14, 2023 following a jury trial.
The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on August 8, 2015, outside of a Brownsville homeless shelter on Sackman Street between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, the defendant tried to rob and then fatally shot Christopher Tennison, 32, striking him once in the chest from pointblank range. Text messages before the murder showed that the defendant was demanding money from the victim.
A resident of a Bronx shelter where the defendant resided later found a gun under the defendant’s bed and turned it over to the authorities. The defendant’s DNA was found on the gun and ballistics proved it was the same gun used in the homicide.
The defendant was convicted in 2017 after multiple eyewitness testified, but the case was reversed on appeal due to a judicial error.
Before the retrial, investigators from the District Attorney’s Office were able to locate numerous former shelter residents, including that former shelter resident who found the gun and did not testify at the first trial. He lived in Poland and lacked the necessary resources and documentation to travel to the U.S. for the trial. Detective Investigators from the DA’s Office and members of the NYPD DA Squad traveled to Poland and, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, helped secure emergency documentation and facilitate the witness’s return so he could testify.
The District Attorney thanked HSI New York’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, KCDA Detective Investigators, NYPD DA Squad detectives, and Special Counsel for Immigrant Affairs David Satnarine, for their assistance on the case, especially their work in securing the aforementioned witness and other witnesses. Homicide Paralegals Amanda Connolly and Angelika Rostkowska, and Senior Intelligence Analyst Christina Stewart also provided assistance with the case.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Matthew Perry, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Andrew Gruna, of the District Attorney’s Orange Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini, Homicide Chief.