Southeast Queens man sentenced for killing cop in high-speed drunken crash in St. Albans: DA

Kassun Brown of Springfield Gardens was sentenced Thursday for killing a cop while driving drunk in St. Albans in 2020.
Photo courtesy of DA’s office

A Springfield Gardens man was sentenced Thursday in Queens Supreme Court to up to 12 years in prison for killing an off-duty NYPD cop when he sped through a stop sign while drunk in 2020.

Kassun Brown, 32, of Nellis Street, pleaded guilty in November to manslaughter in the second degree for crashing his car while intoxicated into a vehicle driven by NYPD Officer Michael Ellis, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and broken neck that caused his death.

According to the charges, Brown sped through a stop sign at around 11:58 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2020, in his 2006 Nissan Maxima at the intersection of Nashville Boulevard and Lucas Street in St. Albans. Brown’s vehicle, which was captured on video, crashed into a Nissan Altima traveling westbound on Lucas Street. Ellis, who was off duty at the time of the collision, went into a clockwise spin before striking two parked cars while Brown’s car smashed into a wooden utility pole.

Ellis, who lived in St. Albans and worked out of the 63rd Precinct in Marine Park, Brooklyn, was rushed by EMS to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for treatment of a traumatic brain injury, a broken neck and facial fractures. He died six weeks later, on Feb. 27, the day of his 35th birthday.

Brown’s blood alcohol content was .09 percent, exceeding the maximum legal threshold of .08 percent, according to the charges. Brown was taken to a local hospital after the collision for treatment of a dislocated right ankle.

Additionally, a passenger in Brown’s car was treated for a fractured femur.

“The defendant’s reckless disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of his fellow motorists cost a young police officer his life,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “Nothing will undo the tragedy, but we hope today’s sentence provides a measure of comfort for Officer Ellis’ loved ones.”

Queens Supreme Court Justice sentenced Brown to an indeterminate term of six to 12 years in prison.

Brown is currently serving a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence for a separate conviction in a drug possession case.