FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
East Flatbush Man Convicted of Murder for Strangulation Death
Of His Former Girlfriend, Who Had Order of Protection Against Him
Defendant Showed up at Victim’s Workplace; Incident Captured on Surveillance Video
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 34-year-old man has been convicted of second-degree murder for the strangulation death of his former girlfriend, 25-year-old Deneisha Smith.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This was a brutal and vicious assault of an innocent woman who had her whole life ahead of her. The defendant is now facing up to life in prison for this callous murder. I remain committed to pursuing justice for all individuals injured or killed by current or former intimate partners.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Rolanso Lexune, 34, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was convicted of second-degree murder yesterday following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser. He will be sentenced on June 11, 2018, at which time he faces 25 years to life in prison.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on October 1, 2016, at approximately 9:30 a.m., the defendant showed up at Bedford Technology, the workplace of Deneisha Smith, his former girlfriend, located at 2184 Bedford Avenue, in Flatbush. The victim buzzed the defendant into the store and the two are seen interacting when the defendant suddenly uses force to push the victim into a backroom out of public view, according to surveillance video. Further video recovered from the backroom shows the defendant arguing with the victim, looking at her cell phone, assaulting the victim, and ultimately strangling her with his hands before leaving the scene.
The victim’s body was discovered three hours later by a co-worker and she was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel. The defendant was arrested at his East Flatbush apartment, where he lived with his wife and children, after being identified on the videotape surveillance. The victim had a full order of protection against the defendant stemming from an earlier incident in which he struck the victim and stole her cell phone.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Vincent Bocchetti, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Sydelle Exantus, also of the DV Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michele Kaminsky, Bureau Chief.