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Posted on: February 7, 2020

Hempstead Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Fatal Christmas Day Shooting

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MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Hempstead man sentenced to 20 years in prison today for the fatal 2017 Christmas Day shooting of a Valley Stream man who was walking to pick up his daughter at the train station.

Antoine Foster, 19, pled guilty on October 16, 2019 before Judge William O’Brien to Manslaughter in the First Degree (a B violent felony).

His co-defendant, Shameq Sullins, 19, of Hempstead was sentenced to seven years in prison on January 28 after pleading guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree (a B violent felony) before Judge Teresa Corrigan on December 3, 2019.

“This defendant opened fire on a busy Hempstead street during rush hour, killing an innocent man who was going to the train station to pick up his daughter,” DA Singas said. “Senseless acts of gun violence like this have devastating consequences for our communities and cannot be tolerated. I hope today’s sentence brings some sense of closure to Mr. Cepeda’s family.”

DA Singas said on December 25, 2017, at approximately 6:20 pm, the defendants were allegedly standing in front of 100 Terrace Avenue in Hempstead when Foster, with Sullins acting as a lookout, fired multiple shots at a vehicle in the direction of Rafael Cepeda, 36, fatally striking him once in the chest. At the time of the shooting, Mr. Cepeda, who was not the intended target, was leaving his apartment and walking to the nearby train station to pick up his young daughter. Both defendants are associated with the Bloods street gang.

Following an investigation, Defendant Sullins was arrested on January 2 by members of the Nassau County Police. Defendant Foster was arrested by Nassau County Homicide Detectives with the assistance of local police and U.S. Marshals on June 20 in Alexandria, VA where he was allegedly staying with a family friend. The gun used in the shooting was never recovered.

Senior Litigation Counsel Martin Meaney of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting this case. Sullins is represented by Joseph LoPiccolo, Esq. and Foster is represented by Christopher Devane, Esq.

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