A Bridgehampton man was found guilty Wednesday in the shooting death of a teenager in a Medford auto shop on Christmas morning in 2013, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
After deliberating for one day, a jury convicted Brandon Davis, 20, of one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the shooting death of 19-year-old Taleik Bristel, according to Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock. Seven days of testimony preceded the jury's findings, Kurtzrock said.
"This was an absolutely senseless and vicious crime; there was absolutely no reason why this young man had to die," Kurtzrock said. "It was an execution, plain and simple."
Kurtzrock said Davis and co-defendants Cesar Figueroa of Bellport and Tasheem Carter of Ridge went into Whitestar MTR, an auto repair shop in Medford, at 3:20 a.m. on Dec. 25 to rob the shop's owner of money and marijuana.
Inside, Kurtzrock said, the shop's owner, along with Bristel and other friends, was exchanging Christmas presents. Davis, armed with a .38 caliber revolver, shot Bristel in the back of the head, then shot him again as he lay on the ground, Kurtzrock said.
Figueroa shot two people in the back, then shot a woman in the stomach after she fled to an upstairs bedroom, Kurtzrock said. They survived.
Davis faces a possible term of life without the possibility of parole when he's sentenced next month, Kurtzrock said.
"We're pleased that the jury reached the correct verdict," Kurtzrock said. "The evidence was very strong and they worked hard and reached the correct result."
Davis' attorney did not return a call seeking comment.
Tasheem Carter pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter on Feb. 20, according to court records. Carter, Figueroa and getaway driver Sabrina Urbancik were all originally charged with second-degree murder, Kurtzrock said.
Urbancik, who went into the auto shop before the robbery to scope it out and to buy marijuana, drove the getaway car and was pregnant with Figueroa's child at the time, Kurtzrock said. She pleaded guilty to robbery. Figueroa is awaiting trial.
Kurtzrock said they were able to charge Davis with the highest possible count, first-degree murder, because he intentionally murdered Bristel while committing a felony.
"A felony murder plus an intentional murder is a murder one. While he's doing the felony, he intentionally killed someone," Kurtzrock said.
Kurtzrock praised the homicide detectives involved in making the arrests. The defendants wore gloves and left no DNA at the scene, he said, and the only thing visible on surveillance footage was Urbancik's car -- a dark-colored vehicle with a white hood -- which police saw Figueroa enter weeks later while they waited for him outside a meeting with his probation officer. The female shooting victim had recognized Figueroa when he shot her, and told police that he and Urbancik were in a relationship.
"This case really came to fruition as the result of good old-fashioned police work by the SCPD homicide squad," Kurtzrock said.