A North Carolina man was sentenced for fatally shooting his former friend after a baby shower in Springfield Gardens four years ago, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Brian White, 42, of Raleigh, was convicted last month of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon before the Queens Criminal Court. He was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
“Because of a past altercation the defendant turned this joyous occasion into a tragic one. This was a senseless act of gun violence that resulted in the death of one man in a neighborhood setting that endangered the lives of everyone in that community,” said acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “We can not tolerate this kind of brutal bloodshed and those who commit these kinds of crimes must be taken off our streets. This defendant will likely be incarcerated for the rest of his life.”
According to trial testimony, at around 10 p.m. on June 28, 2015, White and his brother were seen on surveillance footage walking alongside one of the apartment buildings in the Rochdale Village complex. The men went out of view and moments later people were be seen running from the pathway where the victim, 35-year-old Robert DeJesus, was shot multiple times in the head and body.
DeJesus was attending a baby shower in the building on the night of his death. Trial testimony stated that a witness who knew both men saw them argue before White pulled out a gun and shot DeJesus as he turned to run. After DeJesus fell to the ground, White shot him several more times.
Ten minutes after the shooting, surveillance footage captured White entering a building in the complex and taking an elevator to the floor where he rented a room. White was later seen leaving the apartment in a different set of clothing and leaving 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 where DeJesus stabbed White in the leg. After the stabbing took place, 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.