By Courtney Dentch
A St. Albans man who shot a man he mistakenly thought had killed his rap star friend in a 1999 murder was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Corey Bussey, 26, of 114-36 209th St., received the 15-year-sentence in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens Friday, more than a year after he was found guilty of murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the March 31, 1999 shooting death of Roderick Paget, 21.
Paget was shot six times in South Ozone Park three days after the shooting death of Rochdale Village native and rapper Raymond Rogers, who led the Lost Boyz group under his stage name Freaky Tah. Bussey believed Paget was connected with Freaky Tah's death, Brown said.
“The victim, Roderick Paget, was fatally wounded in an execution-style shooting in a terrible and tragic case of mistaken identity,” Brown said in a statement. “The defendant, in the mistaken belief that the victim had been involved in the murder three days earlier of his friend, the rapper Freaky Tah, opened fire and took revenge on the wrong man.”
According to trial testimony before Judge Mark Spires, Paget was approached by two men around 11:15 p.m. as he crossed the intersection at 111th Avenue and 128th Street in South Ozone Park. After Paget started to run, the two men began shooting at him. Paget tried to jump a fence and became entangled. The two men then shot him six times in the head, side, arm and leg.
There was no information on the second man and the Queens DA's office said no one else currently was being prosecuted in the case.
Bussey, who had been serving a nine-year prison term on unrelated drug charges, was a friend of the Lost Boyz and shot Paget because he had seen him hanging out with a rival rap group, Hell Razor Pham, Brown said.
But another friend of the Hell Razor Pham was the actual gunman behind Rogers' murder in still another case of mistaken identity.
Kelvin Jones of Richmond Hill pleaded guilty in July 2001 to the March 28, 1999 shooting of Rogers – Freaky Tah. The district attorney said Jones shot the rapper whom he mistakenly believed was the relative of a man who shot and killed Jones' brother.
Jones walked up to Rogers and shot him in the back of the head in front of the Sheraton Hotel near John F. Kennedy International Airport, Brown said. Jones then fired several rounds and jumped back into the minivan in which he and three other men had arrived.
The Lost Boyz, made up of Rogers' brother and two cousins, reached success in 1996 with a No. 1 gold-selling debut album, “Legal Drug Money.”
The group was known for giving back to the community, hosting barbecues for kids at Rochdale Village Park and starting up a barbershop in an abandoned store in southeast Queens.
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.