A grand jury indicted a Roosevelt man who's accused of stabbing a 27-year-old to death in October and the woman in whose car he allegedly made his getaway, prosecutors said Friday.
Isiah Cust, 30, faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of Jalil Burton after a fight outside Cust’s home around 10 a.m. on Oct. 25, according to authorities.
Cust stabbed the East Meadow man multiple times in the fight, including in his chest, before fleeing the Brookside Avenue location in Ashley Munroe's car, the Nassau district attorney’s office said.
Police found Burton on the ground with puncture wounds, and first responders took him to Nassau University Medical Center, where authorities said a doctor pronounced him dead at 10:28 a.m.
Cust pleaded not guilty during his Jan. 7 arraignment, according to his attorney, Dennis Lemke.
Prosecutors said Cust is facing up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted and is jailed without bail.
Lemke said Friday that Cust was acting in self-defense while under attack in his own driveway and was "clearly overcharged."
The Mineola attorney said Cust was defending his girlfriend when Burton, the father of that woman’s school-age child, arrived at Cust’s home and angrily confronted her.
Munroe had come to the home separately ahead of the deadly fight, according to Lemke.
Prosecutors said Munroe, 27, of Hempstead, saw the stabbing and now faces a felony charge of hindering prosecution. They identified Munroe as Cust's girlfriend and said she could spend up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in prison if convicted.
Munroe’s attorney, Stephen LaMagna, stressed Friday that his client had nothing to do with the homicide. He said she pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Thursday before a judge released her on her own recognizance.
The Garden City lawyer said Munroe, a working single mom with no criminal record, had arrived at the scene to see if Cust — with whom she’d had a past romantic involvement — was involved with anyone else.
The defense attorney said there is a video "that completely exculpates her" and he expected a judge would dismiss Munroe’s charge after reviewing the evidence.
LaMagna said Cust had the keys to Munroe’s car and started to leave the scene in her vehicle as Munroe ran alongside it. Munroe banged on the vehicle so Cust would stop, and only got into the passenger side when he did stop "to safeguard her car," the defense attorney added.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement Friday that Burton "was a young father with his entire life in front of him."
She added: "My office is committed to holding the defendants responsible for their senseless actions."