If a Brooklyn man hadn’t abused his girlfriend and made her work as a prostitute, he might have gotten away with shooting a man to death six years ago outside a now-defunct West Babylon strip club, a Suffolk prosecutor told jurors Monday.
For about four years after the Sept. 25, 2010, killing of Michael Anderson, 30, police hadn’t known much about who killed the West Babylon man outside the Stone Hedge Pub, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said in his opening statement at the second-degree murder trial of Marcus Lewis, 34, before Suffolk County Court Judge John Toomey Jr. in Riverhead.
Police knew that Anderson, also known as Mizzy, had left the club to get cigars at a gas station next door, walked up to a Ford Escort in the parking lot on his way back and was shot in the head by the driver, Kurtzrock said. And they knew from a topless dancer that a passenger in the car was D’Metriotis Vandemark, Lewis’ girlfriend, Kurtzrock said.
But Lewis and Vandemark had left the area and moved to North Carolina and hadn’t been found, Kurtzrock said — not until a new detective reopened the case in 2014 and tracked down Vandemark. She was no longer with Lewis, who had made her work as a dancer in strip clubs and as a prostitute; she left him after his physical abuse became too much to bear, Kurtzrock said.
“She immediately told him everything she had seen” that night, Kurtzrock said.
Kurtzrock said both men were at the Stone Hedge until some time after 1 a.m., when Anderson left with a friend to get the cigars. Lewis and Vandemark left shortly afterward, Kurtzrock said.
Surveillance video from the gas station will show the Escort driving next door and parking, Kurtzrock said. When Anderson was walking back to the Stone Hedge, something called his attention to the Escort and he walked toward it, Kurtzrock said.
“That’s when the defendant executes Mizzy,” he said.
After Lewis was arrested in January 2015, police interrogated him. Kurtzrock said he didn’t confess, but he also denied driving the Escort, going to the Stone Hedge or knowing Vandemark. Witnesses will contradict him on all those points, Kurtzrock said.
“If he had nothing to do with this murder, why would he work so hard to distance himself from it?” Kurtzrock said.
In a brief opening statement, defense attorney Noel Munier of Mineola told jurors that if the evidence doesn’t match up to Kurtzrock’s depiction of it, they should consider that reasonable doubt and acquit his client.
The Town of Babylon forced the Stone Hedge to close in 2014.