Hudson Valley Man Killed Man Inside Bar On Easter
A Hudson Valley man may spend the rest of his life in prison for killing another man inside a bar on Easter.
On Thursday, the Appellate Division, Third Department unanimously affirmed the November 13, 2015, conviction of Basheem Bennett after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
In the early morning hours on April 20, 2014, Bennett shot and killed 29-year-old Ryan Gray inside Murphy’s Bar in New Platz.
Gray’s fiancée and mother of his child, Ida Samantha David was also seriously injured by Bennett, officials say.
According to witnesses, when Bennet entered the bar and spotted the Gray, he fired three 9mm shots, two struck Gray in the neck and chest. The third bullet hit David in the chest.
The motive for the crime was retaliation by Bennett against Gray for the murder of a friend of Bennett’s, six months earlier in the City of Poughkeepsie, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.
During his plea agreement, Bennet agreed to testify at the trial of anyone else involved in the shooting in exchange for an 18 year to life sentence.
However, when Bennett was called to testify against Taquon Webb, a co-defendant, he invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege and refused to testify. Violating his agreement, officials say.
Because of that violation, Bennett was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
On appeal, Bennett claimed that his sentence was unduly harsh and severe, that claim was precluded by his valid waiver of appeal, officials say.
Webb was found not guilty after a jury trial.
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