Arverne man pleads guilty to killing robbery witness

Photo by Ellis Kaplan
By Rich Bockmann

An Arverne man faces 25 years in prison after he admitted to killing a witness who had testified against him previously in a robbery case, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Shytique Kelly had help from driver Jazmin Guillebeaux, of Rosedale, in May 2012 when he went looking for payback against 21-year-old Tysheen Coakley, who had an order of protection against Kelly after testifying against him, according to the DA.

When the southeast Queens duo found their victim and two others near the intersection of 110th Avenue and 160th Street in Jamaica around 5:30 p.m. May 12, 2012 Kelly opened fire and fatally hit Coakley in the chest, Brown said.

The two then took off in the car Guillebeaux was driving, Brown said.

On Monday, Kelly pleaded guilty to manslaughter and Guillebeaux pleaded guilty to hindering a prosecution for her role in driving Kelly to and from the crime scene.

Brown said that in a “no-snitch” culture where witnesses are intimidated into not cooperating with authorities, the sentence will send a message to anyone thinking they can thwart the criminal justice system.

“Both defendants have admitted their guilt and will serve time behind bars for the role that each played in the death of a young man,” Brown said. “The sentences to be imposed are appropriate and will serve as an example of our commitment to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for July 23 before Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter, who indicated he would sentence Kelly, 22, to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole, Brown said.

The judge indicated he would sentence Rosedale resident Guillebeaux, 21, to a term of six years in prison with the parole available after two years, Brown added.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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