A Suffolk jury took two hours Friday to convict a former Wyandanch man of second-degree murder for shooting an acquaintance in the face outside a strip club six years ago.
Marcus Lewis, 34, didn’t react as the jury found him guilty for killing Michael “Mizzy” Anderson, 30, of West Babylon.
Lewis faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison when Suffolk County Court Judge John Toomey Jr. sentences him Nov. 9 in Riverhead.
“I’m very much happy,” the victim’s mother, Shirley Anderson of Islip, said after the verdict. “My son, he was a good person and he didn’t deserve that. Now I have peace.”
The conviction rested primarily on the testimony of D’Metriotis Van De Mark, 28, the lone eyewitness to the September 2010 shooting outside Stone Hedge, a West Babylon club that has since closed.
Van De Mark said Lewis forced her into prostitution and dancing at strip clubs.
In his closing argument Friday, defense attorney Noel Munier of Mineola tried to undermine Van De Mark’s testimony by saying she made it up because of pressure by detectives who had tracked her down in New Jersey.
“Her story does not ring true,” Munier said, in part because parts of her story were inconsistent. “D’Metriotis Van De Mark lied about small details. It’s likely she lied about big ones, too.”
Munier said police were forced to rely on Van De Mark years later because the initial investigation was so shoddy. He suggested that was because Anderson was a former Bloods gang member and police weren’t motivated to solve his killing.
That was never true, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock told jurors. His fleeting gang affiliation in his youth was irrelevant, he said.
“He was also a working man,” Kurtzrock said. “He’s a human being. His life matters.”
Kurtzrock dismissed testimony from Lewis’ wife that suggested Van De Mark was violent and jealous.
“D’Metriotis is worthy of your belief,” Kurtzrock said, arguing she had nothing to gain by finally coming forward.
Kurtzrock highlighted Lewis’ statements to police that he didn’t commit the crime, didn’t know Van De Mark and had never been at Stone Hedge.
He also reminded jurors of some unguarded moments on videotape when Lewis was being interrogated at police headquarters. Lewis is heard telling a relative on the phone, “I had a feeling they would come some day.”
Anderson’s fiancee and mother of his two children, Charneidra Barber of Bay Shore, said his kids still miss him. “My son talks about him like he’s still living,” she said.