A Copiague man who was convicted of dealing guns pleaded guilty Friday to perjury for testifying during his murder trial that he had never even held a gun.
In return for the plea from Barry Yorke, 23, state Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro promised to sentence him to an additional 1 1⁄3 to 4 years in prison, on top of the 12 years Yorke already is serving for dealing guns. If convicted on the perjury charge, he could have received 2 1⁄3 to 7 years.
Hanging over all those charges, however, is the unresolved charge of second-degree murder. Yorke is accused of shooting to death cabdriver Juan Rosario, 19, during a robbery on 42nd Street in Copiague on Dec. 12, 2010.
A trial on that charge three years ago in Riverhead ended with a hung jury. During that trial, Yorke testified he had never handled a gun, which was the basis of the perjury charge. Evidence at his gun-dealing trial included photos and videos of him handling guns.
After Yorke pleaded guilty to perjury, Ambro urged him to consider a plea offer that prosecutors had made in the murder case. That offer would allow Yorke to plead guilty only to robbery and would result in a sentence that gives him little or no additional prison time.
On the other hand, if he’s convicted of murder at a second trial, he could end up serving a maximum of 38 1⁄3 years to life in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said the perjury plea could prevent Yorke from testifying at a second murder trial. He may no longer claim he’d never handled a gun, and he could be questioned about the perjury plea itself.
Defense attorney Christopher Gioe of Hauppauge declined to comment.
Ambro will sentence Yorke on the perjury charge on Oct. 26.