Grand jury indicts teen who allegedly shot Astoria Houses groundskeeper

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An Astoria man who allegedly shot and killed an Astoria Houses groundskeeper in April has been indicted by a grand jury and arraigned on murder charges in Queens Supreme Court on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Jerald Bethea, 19, was charged with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree after a stray bullet fired from a gun in his possession struck and killed Darrian Ramdial, 25, on the afternoon of April 9.

Around 3 p.m. on the day of the shooting, Ramdial, a Navy veteran, was working the grounds of the Astoria Houses when Bethea allegedly attempted to shoot at another man, according to the charges.

Missing his target, Betha’s bullet hit Ramdial in his torso, Queens District Attorney Katz said. The groundskeeper was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died of injuries related to the gunshot wound six days later.

“An innocent man needlessly lost his life when this defendant allegedly fired an illegal gun. This was a heinous crime with the defendant actually intending to shoot someone else,” Katz said. “Now a man who was simply doing his job is being mourned by his loved ones. I want to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening by getting illegal guns off our streets.”

Bethea fled the scene at the time of the shooting but was arrested in October when he was nabbed by the New York City Police Department’s Felony Warrant Squad, the DA said.

If convicted, Bethea, who was remanded by Justice Michael Aloise on Tuesday, faces 25 years-to-life in prison. He’ll return to court on Jan. 19, 2021.

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