FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Friday 17, 2015
Brooklyn Man Convicted for Recklessly Killing Senior Citizen by
Punching Him, Causing Fall and Head Injury
Disoriented Victim, 69, Assaulted When He Mistakenly Tried to Open Defendant’s Front Door
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Bedford-Stuyvesant man was convicted of manslaughter and assault for a 2013 attack that caused the death of a 69-year-old cancer patient. The victim, apparently confused, attempted to enter a neighboring home, thinking it was his, when the defendant punched him twice and caused him to fall down a stoop and suffer a fatal head injury.
District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant viciously attacked and killed an elderly neighbor who simply needed help. He will now pay a steep price for his senseless acts of violence that took an innocent man’s life.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Vaughan Keith, 34, of 635 Halsey Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He was convicted of the top counts of second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault on Thursday, July 16, 2015, following a jury trial in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Harrington, who set sentencing to August 3, 2015. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, Willie Davis, 69, suffered from cancer and diabetes – ailments that caused him to become confused and disoriented at times. On January 30, 2013, Davis, who resided at 631 Halsey Street, tried to use his home key to open the front door of 635 Halsey Street, a similar-looking building two doors away.
The defendant, who owned and lived in that building, confronted the victim, yelled at him and punched him in the face, according to witnesses who testified at trial. Davis staggered and held on to a rail. Keith then punched him a second time, causing him to tumble down the four-step stoop and hit his head on the concrete. The defendant then fled in his vehicle.
District Attorney Thompson said that a medical examiner testified that the victim suffered fractures to the orbital bones, skull, face, nose, and a hematoma to the head. He received emergency brain surgery at Kings County Hospital but succumbed to his injuries on July 1, 2013. The cause of death was ruled to be blunt trauma to the head.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Chief of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau III, Grey Zone, and Assistant District Attorney Danielle Reddan.