NY shooting suspect pleads not guilty to murder

By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press – CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — A former tenant fired 11 shots through the window of a suburban New York home, killing a popular equestrian and wounding the man’s partner before fleeing to Tennessee, where he was arrested earlier this week, a prosecutor said Friday. Brett Knight, 45, was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to a second-degree murder charge in the Sept. 24 killing of Ross Reisner in Setauket, a rural community on eastern Long Island. Assistant District Attorney Rafael Pearl said Knight told authorities he fired the shots that killed Reisner and injured Kevin Murray, but defense attorney Michael Brown said was dubious whether the statements would or could be admitted at trial. “I am interested in seeing what kind of proof the district attorney has,” Brown said. “From my limited knowledge, I think they’re going to have some serious problems establishing the guilt of my client.” Knight was previously charged in an alleged aggravated harassment case involving Murray, but was not arraigned in that case on Friday; prosecutors did not explain why. Brown said Knight, a former American Express employee, had been friends with both Reisner and Murray for nearly two decades. “There is really no incentive or motive to cause any type of injuries to them,” the lawyer said. Knight, who is originally from Midvale, Utah, and graduated from Brigham Young University, settled a lawsuit filed in 2009 against American Express, Brown said, but added he did not know specific details about that case. A New York Post report at the time said Knight claimed he had been...

Central Islip man faces murder charge in Matthew Gilmore shooting death

Originally published: June 6, 2013 3:03 PM Updated: June 6, 2013 10:25 PM By NICOLE FULLER  nicole.fuller@newsday.com A 22-year-old man was charged Thursday with the shooting death of a Central Islip resident who was among three victims gunned down in the hamlet in the span of less than two days late last month. Raesean N. Allen of Central Islip was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge in the May 28 shooting death of Matthew Gilmore, 25 — the final victim in the spate of killings that began on the night of May 26. No one has been charged in the shooting deaths of Central Islip residents Derrick Mayes and Kennan Russell, both 21. Law enforcement sources said the killing of Gilmore is not connected to the shootings of Mayes and Russell, which sources suspect may have been committed by MS-13 gang members. PHOTOS: Mug shots | Notorious crimes | Caught on tape ALERTS: Get crime reports from your area | Breaking news alerts Allen, who has pleaded guilty previously to charges of criminal contempt, resisting arrest, marijuana possession and larceny, confessed to robbing Gilmore after he had been shot several times inside his Clayton Street residence, according to a criminal complaint. He told police after someone else “shot the victim several times, I took some of the victim’s marijuana and ran out the front door,” the complaint stated. At his arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip, Allen was ordered held without bail before Judge Paul M. Hensley. His attorney, Michael J. Brown, did not request bail. Brown said Allen did not shoot Gilmore, but acknowledged his client was present at...

Ex-teacher Christopher Teague pleads guilty to child-porn charges

Originally published: May 29, 2013 1:17 PM Updated: May 29, 2013 10:03 PM By ANDREW SMITH  andrew.smith@newsday.com A former Middle Island junior high school math teacher was sent to jail Wednesday for sharing child pornography with others, including minors. Christopher Teague, 35, of Coram, pleaded guilty in February to promoting a sexual performance by a child and numerous other charges. Wednesday, Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn said she had considered “a great deal of material on the defendant’s behalf” that she had received from teachers, supervisors and parents of students in deciding to sentence Teague to 6 months in jail and 10 years’ probation. Assistant District Attorney John Cortes urged that Teague receive “significant” prison time. The maximum he faced on the top charge was 7 years. “The defendant engaged in shameful behavior,” Cortes said. “He has insulted the educational field.” Cortes said Teague distributed by computer the images of children engaged in sex acts to child sex abusers and to children he didn’t know. Teague hugged his tearful parents before he was sentenced and said nothing when Kahn asked if he wanted to speak. Supporters sent the letters “despite these disturbing and horrifying charges,” Kahn said. Defense attorney Michael Brown of Central Islip told her, “There’s a lot more to my client than what’s in that indictment.” Kahn said the sentence was consistent with similar cases. “There is no evidence whatsoever of any contact by Mr. Teague with any student in the school district,” Kahn said, adding that Teague will be prohibited from having contact with children when he gets out of jail. “He can’t teach them,”...

Man sentenced to 33 years in pool hall death

Originally published: May 22, 2013 12:42 PM Updated: May 22, 2013 9:46 PM By ANDREW SMITH  andrew.smith@newsday.com An MS-13 gang member was sentenced Wednesday to 33 years to life in prison for bashing one man’s head in with a metal pipe and injuring two other men outside a Brentwood pool hall in 2011. Jairon Gonzales Martinez, 25, of Brentwood, was convicted last month of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault for his role in an attack that left Rumaldo Bethancourt Lopez, 29, dead. Two other men, Geovani Guzman Hernandez and Alcides Gomez, are awaiting trial for the same attack. Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said the three victims, who did not know the defendants, were just trying to enjoy themselves when they were attacked. Abraham Orellana was hit in the head with a brick or piece of concrete, he said. Then about 20 minutes later, the defendants came back with a baseball bat and a metal pipe and beat Bethancourt Lopez and Ramiro Garcia. Garcia, who has returned home to Honduras, was in a coma and now has a titanium plate in his face and is partly paralyzed, Kurtzrock said. “Mr. Lopez was beaten so brutally he was no longer recognizable,” Kurtzrock said. “In the autopsy photos, he looks like he was mauled by a pack of wild animals, and in a way, he was.” Kurtzrock told State Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen that Gonzales Martinez has been without emotion or remorse since the attack. “He just doesn’t care, judge,” Kurtzrock said, recommending the maximum of 57 years to life. Defense attorney Michael Brown of Central Islip,...

Criminal Defense Lawyer – Conviction in murder trial with videotaped interrogation

Originally published: April 18, 2013 6:48 PM Updated: April 18, 2013 10:15 PM By ELLEN YAN ellen.yan@newsday.com Attorney Michael J. Brown, P.C., at his office. Galleries for mugshot gallery Recent LI mug shots top pic for fbi most wanted FBI Most Wanted Web links Crime stats for Long Island Crime numbers on LI Long Island crime map LI crime and police reports Suffolk’s first murder trial with a videotaped interrogation ended in a guilty verdict Thursday, with a Brentwood man convicted of a fatal beating outside a pool hall two years ago. The jury found Jairon A. Gonzales Martinez, 24, guilty of second-degree murder and assault charges in the June 2011 killing of Rumaldo Bethancourt Lopez, 29, also of Brentwood. Gonzales Martinez was one of several men involved in the attack outside Brentwood’s Fiesta Pool Hall that also left Ramiro Garcia, 33, of Central Islip, with serious head injuries, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said. PHOTOS: Mug shots | Notorious crimes | Caught on tape ALERTS: Get crime reports from your area | Breaking news alerts It was the first murder case with a videotaped interrogation to go to trial since Suffolk police began making such recordings in 2010, attorneys said. The conviction comes almost a year after State Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen tossed out a written confession and much of an oral confession because the video showed detectives ignored Gonzales Martinez’s attempt to exercise his right to remain silent. Attorney Michael Brown of Central Islip said his client didn’t react when the verdict was announced Thursday. “My client has maintained his innocence since the inception of this...