Brooklyn man sentenced to 23 years to life for killing beloved homeless man
Known as Helpful Protector of Grand Avenue, Victim Shot in Early Morning Hours After Asking Defendant to Quiet Down
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson on Monday announced that a 20-year-old Brooklyn man was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison for the murder of Gilbert Kelley, a 57-year-old homeless man who was shot dead in Clinton Hill last year following a brief verbal dispute.
“This sentence represents justice for Gilbert Kelley, who was a fixture of the Clinton Hill community and died protecting Grand Avenue, the block he loved,” said Thompson. “He was senselessly shot dead by this defendant, who now deserves to spend many years behind bars for killing such a generous and beloved man.”
The DA identified the defendant as Victorious Kingsberry, 20, of Clinton Hill. He was sentenced Monday to 23 years to life in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog, following his conviction in November on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial.
The DA said that according to trial testimony, on March 15, 2014, at approximately 4 a.m., the defendant, who was 18 years old, and five of his friends were on the way home from a party when they exited the subway near Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill. The group then turned onto Grand Avenue and started to walk toward Lafayette Gardens, a few blocks away.
As they walked up Grand Avenue, according to trial testimony, they encountered Kelley, who often swept the sidewalks of Grand Avenue and helped the homeowners on that block by doing odd jobs such as carrying groceries, raking leaves and shoveling snow. Kelley was pushing his shopping cart at the time and told the defendant and his friends to be quiet because the neighbors were sleeping. The defendant and his friends then got into a dispute with Kelley and started to approach the victim, who pulled out a kitchen knife. The defendant and his friends then crossed to the opposite side of the street, and the defendant then pulled out a .380 caliber handgun and fired, striking the victim in the chest, and ran off.
—Information from the Brooklyn DA’s Office
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