FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 22 Years to Life in Prison 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 sentenced to 22 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a teenager who was walking his dog on Christmas Eve 2013. An argument on Facebook preceded the incident.
District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant murdered a teenager over an argument they had on social media. Anyone who thinks it is acceptable to commit such a senseless act of violence deserves to spend many years behind bars to think about what they did.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Jerome Leslie, 20, of 2820 West 32nd Street in Coney Island, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog to 22 years to life in prison following his conviction on April 14, 2016 on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after a jury trial.
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.