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Posted on: June 1, 2018

Hempstead Man Sentenced to Five to 15 Years in Prison for October 2015 Shooting Death of 12-Year-Old

Jakwan Keller

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Hempstead man has been sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for the October 2015 shooting death of a 12-year-old girl in Hempstead.

Jakwan Keller, 22, pleaded guilty on March 2 before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz to Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a C felony).

“This defendant’s reckless actions took the life of an innocent 12-year old who was sitting down with her family when she was fatally struck by a bullet,” DA Singas said.  “We extend our deepest condolences to Dejah Joyner’s family, whose lives have been forever changed by this horrific tragedy.”

DA Singas said that on October 16, 2015 at approximately 5 p.m. the defendant was driving a vehicle outside the Dartmouth Street home of 12-year-old Dejah Joyner, when he fired a single shot at the house. The shot entered the house and struck Joyner in the head as she was in the living room. Joyner was taken to Winthrop Hospital in Mineola in critical condition and died the next day.

Following an investigation, the defendant was arrested on January 10, 2016 in Hempstead by members of the Nassau County Police Department, with assistance from members of the Hempstead Village Police Department.

Chief Michael Walsh of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau and Deputy Chief Lauren Nickerson are prosecuting the case. Keller is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq.

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