As a Massapequa man was about to be sentenced Monday for shooting a woman to death, he used the opportunity to demand that Suffolk police return his sport utility vehicle and to complain about his lawyer.
When David Newbeck, 36, was done, Suffolk County Court Judge John Toomey Jr. gave him the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder. Newbeck was the second man convicted of killing Mandy Jo Jenkins, 30, on Aug. 23, 2010, because she filed an identity theft charge against his girlfriend. Her boyfriend and Newbeck's childhood friend, Joseph DeFelice, was convicted last year.
Newbeck, who prosecutors say shot Jenkins four times in the head and once in the chest while she slept, said it was all DeFelice's fault.
"I am a hardworking taxpayer. I have a nonviolent history," Newbeck said. "I was the one who stopped Joe from beating Mandy all the time. I had nothing to do with the murder."
He said DeFelice threatened him and witnesses who might have testified on his behalf, but he spent much of his time talking about his car. He complained that police still haven't returned the 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer they seized during the investigation and that he should be compensated for its depreciation and the insurance he had to pay on it.
Then Newbeck criticized his lawyer, William Keahon, who was standing next to him, saying he should have put him on the witness stand and prepared better during the nine-week trial. He also said Keahon should have delayed giving his closing argument because of "age and health problems." Keahon, 70, fainted during his closing argument, forcing a 10-day delay until he was fit to continue.
Newbeck said Keahon's summation consisted of "incoherent babbling, and then counsel passed out on the desk of the prosecutor."
When Newbeck finished, Toomey called the killing "senseless and cowardly" and said he was amazed Newbeck would spend so much time talking about the return of his car instead of a young woman getting killed in her sleep.
"You have to be the most narcissistic person on Earth," Toomey said. "I can't believe it."
Toomey emphatically rejected Newbeck's criticism of Keahon, saying the evidence of guilt was substantial and that Keahon fought skillfully for him.
"I don't think there's another attorney on Earth who could give you the representation Mr. Keahon gave you," Toomey said. "And you were still convicted."
As he was led from the courtroom, Newbeck told Keahon, "You did a great job."
Jenkins' family members said Newbeck and DeFelice got what they deserved for plotting and carrying out her execution in the North Amityville warehouse where she lived with DeFelice.
"Many people are responsible for her death, but none more than you," her sister, Crystal Buturla, told Newbeck in court. "We will never show you any mercy or forgiveness."
Jenkins' sister-in-law, Marie Castiglione, said in the hallway, "I hope he never has a peaceful day in jail."
Later, Keahon said only that as a defense attorney, his responsibility requires that he "continues to speak in the best interest of [his] client." After the sentencing, he sought out Buturla and Castiglione and wished them well.
Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla said he was unimpressed with Newbeck's speech.
"It's baseless, and essentially shows his total disregard for life," he said. "He's a sociopath."