Earlier this week, prosecutors said Carey Gabay, 43, was shot in the head in a crossfire, while walking home, when gunfire erupted between two rival gangs outside the Ebbets Field Houses in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, during the Caribbean J'ouvert celebration on Labour Day 2015.
While jurors in the Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted the two men of the murder rap, they however, found one of them, Micah Alleyne, 26, guilty of manslaughter.
Alleyne, of Jamaica, Queens, was also found guilty of criminal possession of a weapon, while Stanley Elianor, 27, of Brooklyn, was convicted of reckless endangerment.
After the jury forewoman read the verdicts, Gabay's brother, Aaron McNaughton, blurted out: “This is ridiculous! Where's the justice? It was murder. Where's the justice? My brother was murdered.”
He then turned to the jurors: “You should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you.”
Elianor's attorney, Douglas Appel told reporters outside the courthouse that his client was “very happy with the jury's verdict.
“Obviously, if he got convicted of murder, he could've spent the rest of his life in prison,” Appel said.
“Now he'll have a much shorter sentence. I think, in the end, justice prevailed.”
Elianor had earlier turned to jurors, after the verdict was read, saying: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Both men will be sentenced on September 12.
Last week, a Brooklyn Supreme Court jury acquitted another defendant, Keith Luncheon, of Brooklyn, of all charges – murder, manslaughter, weapons possession and reckless endangerment – in Gabay's death.
But, during the same week, the jury convicted another Brooklyn defendant, Kenny Bazile, 33, of second-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.
He was cleared of the murder charge.
Bazile was the sixth man charged with the Gabay's murder.
In June 2016, Tyshawn Crawford, 22, of East New York, Brooklyn was indicted for murder and related charges for his alleged role in the shooting.
Gabay, the first deputy general counsel at a state economic development agency, “was an inspiring public servant whose life was cut short by senseless gun violence,” said Cuomo in a statement.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who traces his roots to Puerto Rico, said: “We have made a promise to the family of Carey Gabay to hold accountable everyone who took part in the shootout that took his life.”
He said that, according to the investigation, the incident took place during the early morning hours of September 7, 2015 in front of 1680 Bedford Avenue, which is part of the Ebbets Field Houses in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
At the time of the shooting, Gonzalez said the patio and street in front of the building were filled with hundreds of people, many of whom were celebrating J'ouvert, a traditional predawn festival that precedes the annual West Indian American Day Parade.
Gonzalez said the building's large patio was known to be controlled by the Folk Nation street gang, “which has been engaged in a years-long war with the Eight Trey faction of the Crips gang,” among others.
At about 3:40 am, he said Eight Trey gang members walked up from Montgomery Street, apparently heading toward the J'ouvert procession on Empire Boulevard, about two blocks to the south.
“Their presence in 'enemy territory' sparked a gun battle between Folk Nation members and their affiliates, who were shooting from the street and the patio, and the Eight Trey members who fired from the street before fleeing north,” Gonzalez said. “An estimated two to three dozen shots were fired in two consecutive volleys from at least eight firearms, according to the investigation.”
At the same time, Gonzalez said Gabay was walking north on Bedford Avenue with his brother and a couple of friends after attending the J'ouvert procession.
“They happened upon the front of the patio just as the gun fight broke out,” Gonzalez said. “The group ran to a parking lot located between the patio and the street and ducked near parked cars.
“A bullet struck Gabay in the head, and he was taken to Kings County Hospital Centre [in Brooklyn], where he died a week later on September 15, 2015,” Gonzalez said.
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