Jury Set to Deliberate in Gang-Related Murder Trial


The Kings County Supreme Court at 320 Jay St.

Jurors will begin deliberations tomorrow in the trial of three Brooklyn men accused of murdering a teenager and an adult in a 2009 gang-related shooting in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The prosecution and defense rested their cases today after a medical examiner and a detective took the stand on the trial’s sixth day of testimony.

The jury for the case against Andrew Smart, 28, and Raneiro Chavez, 24, will deliberate tomorrow; the jury in the case against Maurice Hall, 30, will deliberate Monday.

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Itkin called Dr. Melissa Pasquale-Styles of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York to the stand this morning and asked the doctor to describe the findings of her autopsies of the victims, Antoine Stokes, 20, and Steven Hill, 15.

In great detail, Pasquale-Styles described each bullet wound of each victim. Six bullets had struck Stokes, and four had struck Hill. As the doctor explained how one bullet entered Stokes’ right chest, cracked a rib, then pierced the right side of his heart, Hall flipped through documents while the other two defendants sat unflinching, watching the testimony.

“All of the wounds seemed to occur at or near the same time,” Pasquale-Styles said.

Itkin then asked Pasquale-Styles to draw the wounds onto a diagram on an overhead projector for the jury. As the doctor diagrammed the bullet that went through the back of Stokes’ thigh, Stokes’ mother, Ernestine Stokes, ran out of the court crying.

“Oh, God,” she said.

Pasquale-Styles said no drugs or alcohol were found in tests run on Stokes. Traces of marijuana and a small amount of alcohol were found in the blood of Hill. The medical examiner then confirmed the cause of death of each victim was gunshot wounds to the torso.

Itkin then rested her case. All three attorneys for the defense requested motions to dismiss, which the judge quickly denied. The judge then called a short break.

Itkin walked over to Stokes’ mother and asked if she was OK. “I told you not to come,” Itkin said. “When someone tells you not to come, don’t come.”


Related story: Witness for the Prosecution

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