A Hewlett resident was convicted Friday of fatally stabbing a man in the heart in June 2020, Nassau County prosecutors said.

Keith Pooler, 56, was convicted after a jury trial of the second-degree murder of Andre Garry, 49, of West Hempstead, along with one count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

“Keith Pooler escalated a petty dispute into a deadly encounter, which ended with the defendant plunging a knife into Andre Garry’s chest,” said Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly. “We are pleased with the jury’s verdict, and that the defendant will be held accountable for his decision to take a life that day."

Christopher Graziano, Pooler's Mineola-based defense attorney, did not return a call seeking a comment.

Prosecutors said Pooler and the victim had a verbal altercation on June 28, 2020, at 9 p.m. on the corner of Terrace and Fulton avenues in Hempstead. As the argument continued, Pooler pulled out a 5-inch steak knife and plunged it into Garry's heart, authorities said. The victim collapsed and Pooler fled the scene, police said.

Garry was taken to NYU Langone Hospital Long Island where he was pronounced dead.

Police recovered the murder weapon nearby less than twenty minutes after the incident, authorities said.

Pooler was arrested in Hewlett by Nassau Police Department Homicide Squad detectives on July 11, 2020.

He is due back in court on July 28 where he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

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