Second assailant in D’aja Robinson murder sentenced

By Naeisha Rose

Shamel Capers, 19, a Brooklyn teenager, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Wednesday for the shooting death of D’aja Robinson, 14, in 2013, the Queens district attorney said.

Capers was found guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to DA Richard Brown.

D’aja was a South Jamaica resident who died after a bullet pierced through the window of a city bus and struck her in the head May 2013

Capers, who was 15 at the time of the gang-related shooting, was one of two assailants in the crime. The other was Richmond Hill resident Kevin McClinton, who was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges in 2016.McClinton is serving 40 years to life in prison, according to Brown.

D’aja was one of four family members lost to gun violence between 2010 and 2014. In 2014, her cousin, Khalil Brown, 17, was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Khalil’s uncle, former NYPD Officer Colin Bowlin, was shot in 2011. In 2010, D’aja’s cousin, Gary Bowlin, was gunned down at a barbershop in Richmond Hill, according to family.

Brown hopes that loved ones will find comfort in the justice that was meted out for D’aja, the only child of Shadia Sands and a student at Campus Magnet High School in Cambria Heights.

“The death of D’aja Robinson was a tragic and senseless murder. The 14-year-old was a talented teenager with a bright future before her, until the two defendants in this case struck with total disregard for human life and fired into an occupied New York City bus. Both defendants were tried and convicted by a jury. Both young men will be incarcerated for a very long time.”

He added, “Hopefully, D’aja’s family, friends and loved ones can find some closure and solace in knowing that the persons responsible for taking her young life have now been held accountable and are no longer a threat to society.”

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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