Bronx Man Who Shot and Paralyzed Former High School Basketball Star Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


Bronx Man Who Shot and Paralyzed Former High School
Basketball Star Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison

Defendant Shot Victim in Back Outside Victim’s Home,
Paralyzing Him from the Waist Down

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 35-year-old Bronx man was sentenced to 17 years in prison for a 2016 shooting that paralyzed a 23-year-old former high school basketball star from the waist down. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder in October.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Without any provocation or warning, this defendant opened fire on a defenseless and innocent passerby, forever altering the life of a gifted athlete. Such senseless acts of gun violence have devastating consequences for our communities and cannot be tolerated. I hope today’s sentence brings some measure of closure to the victim and his family for the enduring harm they have suffered and continue to suffer.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as James Sanders, 35, of Parkchester, Bronx. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Miriam Cyrulnik to 17 years in prison, following his guilty plea to second-degree attempted murder on October 15, 2019.

The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on December 4, 2016, at approximately 5:20 a.m., Jaquan Causer, 23, was walking to his home on Lefferts Avenue near Bedford Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens when he noticed the defendant arguing with another individual. The victim glanced in the men’s direction, and upon doing so the defendant began to yell at the victim. In an effort to avoid a confrontation, the victim ignored them and continued to walk.

Video surveillance shows the defendant follow the victim a short distance before firing several shots at the victim from behind. The victim called 911 and was taken to Methodist Hospital where doctors determined he was permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

Nearly a year and a half after the shooting, a gun was recovered from the home of a person who was acquainted with the defendant. The gun was matched to ballistic shell casings recovered at the shooting scene.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Kha Dang of the 88th Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Adrianne Jones of the District Attorney’s NYPD Squad, with the assistance of Senior Intelligence Analyst Daniel Figlin, of the District Attorney’s Crime Strategies Unit.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Elaine Albenda, formerly of the District Attorney’s Red Zone Trial Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Robert Schwartz, of the Red Zone, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kin Ng, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney Joseph Alexis, Chief of Trials.