A North Carolina man was convicted of gunning down his former friend shortly after a baby shower in Springfield Gardens in 2015, prosecutors announced Thursday.
After a two-week trial, Brian White, 42, was found guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. White is due to return to court for sentencing on July 15, at which time he faces 25 years to life in prison.
“A joyous occasion turned into violence and bloodshed when the defendant shot and killed his former friend after a baby shower in Queens,” said acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “The defendant and the victim had a violent altercation 18-months before the deadly encounter in June of 2015. This kind of senseless gun violence will not be tolerated in our neighborhoods. The defendant has now been tried again and convicted and faces spending the rest of his life behind bars.”
According to trial testimony, White and his brother were spotted on surveillance footage walking alongside one of the apartment buildings in the Rochdale Village complex just before 10 p.m. on June 28, 2015. Both men disappeared from camera view and then moments later numerous people can be seen running from the area, which led to where 35-year-old Robert Dejesus had been multiple times in the head and body.
Dejesus was attending a baby shower for a relative in the apartment complex just before his death. Testimony stated that a witness who knew both White and Dejesus saw the two men arguing before White pulled out a gun and shot at Dejesus as he turned to run away. White then proceeded to shoot Dejesus several more times after he fell to the ground.
Just ten minutes after the shooting, White was seen re-entering one of the buildings in the complex and taking the elevator to a floor where he rented a room. Surveillance footage captured White emerging from the apartment where he was staying wearing a different set of clothes as he exits the building.
Shortly after the shooting, White relocated from New York to Raleigh, North Carolina. Trial testimony stated that White was seeking revenge for an incident in 2013 were Dejesus stabbed White in the leg. After the stabbing, White had told several mutual friends that he was going to kill DeJesus.
White was named a person of interest in the shooting shortly after it took place, however it wasn’t until October 2015 when an anonymous tip led to White’s arrest.