A Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 32 years to life in prison for fatally shooting an innocent 38-year-old man with whom his girlfriend was romantically involved and wounding an innocent bystander inside a Bedford-Stuyvesant deli.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “This is just another example of senseless gun violence that cut short the life of a well-regarded member of the community and endangered everyone in that deli that morning, including a senior citizen who was shot in the hand. We will not tolerate gun violence in Brooklyn and will continue to pursue justice in these cases.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Maurice Hennegan, 25, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The defendant was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice. He was convicted of second-degree murder and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance on March 5, 2019, following a jury trial.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on September 28, 2016, at approximately 7:24 a.m., the defendant went looking for victim Neil Thompson, 38, after the defendant confronted his estranged girlfriend with whom the victim had a relationship. The defendant drove past the laundromat the victim managed with his mother, near the corner of Hart Street and Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The defendant saw the victim was not inside the laundromat and double-parked his car.
The defendant entered a deli at the corner of Hart Street and Tompkins Avenue where Thompson was buying breakfast and repeatedly opened fire with a revolver, according to testimony. A 64-year-old bystander was struck in the hand. Thompson fell to the floor, face down, and the defendant shot him four times in the back from pointblank range.
Following the shooting, according to testimony, the defendant wore glasses and a fake mustache, grew out his hair and used a cane to disguise his appearance. He admitted his guilt in several text messages to his associates, according to the evidence, and surveillance video recovered from inside the deli shows the defendant pointing a gun and firing at the victim.
The defendant was arrested February 16, 2017 on Varet Street near Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He had 19 twists of crack-cocaine on him at the time of his arrest.