FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Bedford-Stuyvesant Man Indicted for 2005 Cold Case
Murder of His Girlfriend
Defendant Allegedly Shot Victim Once in the Head;
Charges Filed Following Comprehensive Reinvestigation
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that, following a lengthy and thorough reinvestigation of the 2005 shooting death of 22-year-old Desiree Cofield, her former boyfriend has been indicted on second-degree murder charges.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The victim in this case was a young mother of two little girls who was allegedly taken from them by this defendant. I’m pleased to announce today that following a thorough reinvestigation by the NYPD and my Cold Case Unit we are a step closer to obtaining justice for Desiree, as well as her family and friends.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Julius Esquilin, 36, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on December 12, 2018. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on February 19, 2005, at about 1 a.m., the defendant and his girlfriend, Desiree Cofield, 22, had a dispute outside 642 Greene Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which continued inside their apartment on the top floor of that building. A neighbor heard an argument, followed by a single gunshot and observed a blue light flash. The neighbor then heard the deceased’s daughter saying “mommy, mommy,” according to the investigation.
A neighbor called 911 after the defendant banged on the door yelling, “I know you heard that; call the police.” The defendant also called 911 and, when police and EMTs arrived, was acting aggressively. The defendant was screaming, broke picture frames and jumped on the victim’s body, the evidence shows. The police discovered the victim on a couch with a single gunshot wound to the head. Her 3-year-old daughter and 4-year-old nephew were awake in the bedroom (the victim and the defendant had a 2-month-old daughter together, who was not present when police arrived). The police recovered a .380 caliber shell casing, a matching live round and a note signed by the defendant, that said, “Even if I am gone I still love all of my daughters and my big mouth baby mother, Julius.” No gun was recovered.
According to neighbors, the victim’s relatives and prior police reports, the defendant had a history of abusing the victim.
The case was investigated by Detective William Simon of the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad, under the supervision of Lieutenant Dennis Klein.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Samantha Magnani, of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Rachel Singer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Forensic Science and Cold Case Unit.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt