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Man sentenced to 25 years in 2007 home invasion murder, officials say

Federal officials announced Monday that a Woodmere man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 2007 murder of a man who was shot to death during a home invasion in Manhattan.

Kensil Dexter Fender, 36, was sentenced in U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto’s Brooklyn courtroom to 25 years in prison in the April 2, 2007 killing of Rowan Clarke, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

The sentence comes several months after Fender, who prosecutors said was an immigrant from Jamaica who was in the U.S. illegally and is also a marijuana distributor, had pleaded guilty in December.

Fender faces deportation when he completes his sentence, authorities said.

“More than a decade ago, Fender murdered a man while trying to commit a home invasion drug robbery,” said Richard Donoghue, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “With today’s sentence, he learns that justice does not forget and does not rest.”

But Fender’s attorney said his client will serve time in prison for far too long.

“I think he received too much time,” said Bernard Alan Seidler of Manhattan. “If he had committed this crime and was tried in state court, the minimum would have been 15 to life, and the maximum would have been 25 to life. It was not an intentional killing. It was a robbery that went bad.”

Prosecutors said Fender and another man tried to rob Clarke because they thought he had drugs and money in his apartment, adding that Clarke was shot and killed as the pair tried to push their way into his home.

Investigators said they linked Fender to the crime based on DNA detected on a piece of jewelry that was left at the scene.

The investigation into the murder was conducted by several agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration,  the NYPD, New York State Police and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

“This drug investigation demonstrates the inevitable link between drug trafficking and violent crime,” said DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt. “In most of our cases, greed is the underlying force behind drug trafficking, and it is ironic that a piece of jewelry and DNA were key factors in bringing Rowan Clarke’s killer to justice.”

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said: “Today’s sentencing has been a long time in coming and is an appropriate, meaningful penalty for this career criminal. In partnership with the DEA and the Eastern District, the NYPD has a long memory and an even longer reach.”

State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Good police work and invaluable partnerships at the federal, state and local level were key in bringing this murderer to justice.”

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