A Far Rockaway man who contended he fatally shot another man in self-defense during an argument that was recorded on an iPhone was convicted Monday of murder and faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
The jury, which began its deliberations Friday in Nassau County Court in Mineola, convicted Wilfred Labossiere, 33, of second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of weapons possession in the slaying of Christopher Mullings, 29, of Roosevelt. Labossiere, an auto mechanic, will be sentenced May 1 by Judge Philip Grella.
Mullings' mother, Patricia Leach, 49, of Roosevelt, broke down in tears outside court. "He took my boy," Leach said. "But I think justice has been done."
She turned to hug Assistant District Attorney Martin Meaney as he left the courtroom, and continued to sob as the prosecutor consoled her.
District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement that "While nothing can undo the pain caused by Mr. Labossiere, today's guilty verdict gives a measure of justice for his victims' loved ones, and ensures that this defendant will be held accountable for his crimes."
Defense attorney Anthony Grandinette of Mineola said his client was "grossly disappointed by the verdict." The lawyer said he would file motions before the sentencing "on multiple issues of law and fact." He declined to elaborate.
Labossiere had dropped off his son at the Elmont home of the boy's maternal grandmother in November 2012, then returned after a telephone argument about visitation and baby-sitting.
At the house, he got into a dispute with Mullings, whose son, Dwight Leach, 24, had been baby-sitting Labossiere's 3-year-old son there. As Mullings and Labossiere argued, Leach hit the video button on his iPhone and recorded the dispute, which spilled out of the house.
Outside, Labossiere pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his jacket and fired three times before the gun jammed. Mullings was hit twice, once in the head, and the third bullet hit Leach's godmother, Sandra Clarke, the child's maternal grandmother. She was hospitalized but survived.
Meaney and Grandinette stated to the jury in closing arguments that the iPhone recording was the best evidence. Grandinette said Mullings was the aggressor and that Labossiere only fired because he feared for his own life. Meaney said the video showed the victim did not have a weapon, and that Labossiere could have retreated.