Defendant and others allegedly lured the victim to Freeport to steal cash at gunpoint; victim James Diamond just cashed $55,000 settlement check
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced the indictment of a fifth defendant for the September 2021 shooting death and robbery of a man who had just received a settlement check of $55,000.
Akeem Chambers, 20, was arraigned on Friday before Judge Terence Murphy on charges of Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony); two counts of Robbery in the First Degree (a B violent felony); and Robbery in the Second Degree (a C violent felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court on August 23. If convicted of the top charge, the defendant faces a potential maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
“Chambers and his co-defendants allegedly lured James Diamond, who had more than $50,000 in cash on him, to Freeport where the victim was robbed and shot once in the chest,” DA Donnelly said. “This defendant was on the run for nearly 10 months and was arrested due to the extraordinary work of our police partners and our prosecutors. Our thoughts remain with the family of James Diamond as we prosecute the people who allegedly orchestrated his murder.”
According to the indictment, on September 10, 2021, the deceased, James Diamond, and a friend, drove to a law firm in Long Beach to pick up a check for $55,000.00, that Diamond was awarded as part of a lawsuit.
After receiving the check, the pair picked up Corey Grier and drove to a check cashing business. Grier then directed them in their vehicle to South Bay Avenue in Freeport and Diamond and his friend left to attempt to deposit the cash at a nearby bank.
Grier allegedly called Eric Baldwin and Todd Brant to meet him at South Bay Avenue. Baldwin, allegedly driven by his girlfriend, Anyibel Madera, and Brant both met Grier.
When Diamond and his friend returned to the location, Baldwin and Chambers allegedly took Diamond and his friend out of their vehicle at gunpoint. A struggle ensued, and Diamond was shot once in the abdomen. Baldwin allegedly took Diamond’s bag filled with cash and fled. Diamond was later pronounced deceased at South Nassau Communities Hospital.
Chambers was arrested in Elmhurst, Queens by members of the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Co-defendants Baldwin, Brant, Grier and Madera were arraigned in January 2022.
Eric Baldwin, 25, of Freeport, is charged with Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony); two counts of Robbery in the First Degree (a B violent felony); Robbery in the Second Degree (a C violent felony); and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a C violent felony). If convicted of the top charge, he faces a potential sentence of 40 years to life in prison.
Todd Brant, 21, of Middle Island, and Corey Grier, 27, of Freeport, are charged with Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony); two counts of Robbery in the First Degree (a B violent felony); and Robbery in the Second Degree (a C violent felony).
Brant is also charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence (an E felony). Grier is additionally charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a C violent felony). If convicted of the top charge, Brant faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison and Grier faces a maximum of 40 years to life in prison.
Anyibel Madera, 23, of Freeport, is charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence (an E felony); Hindering Prosecution in the Second Degree (an E felony); and Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree (an A misdemeanor). If convicted of the top charge, Madera faces up to four years in prison.
After the shooting, Madera allegedly returned her license plates and sold the vehicle.
Brant was arrested by detectives of the Nassau County Police Department’s Bureau of Special Operations in Middle Island on November 3, 2021.
Baldwin was arrested by NCPD Homicide detectives in East Meadow on November 3, 2021.Grier was arrested by NCPD Homicide detectives in Bayshore on November 3, 2021. Madera was arrested by NCPD Homicide detectives on November 4, 2021.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Nicole Aloise of the Homicide Bureau. Chambers is represented by Greg Madey, Esq. Brant is represented by Jason Russo, Esq. and Steve Gaitman, Esq. Baldwin is represented by Jeff Groder, Esq. Grier is represented by Justin Feinman, Esq. Madera is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.