Crown Heights

20-year-old gets 18 years for fatal stabbing during an argument in Crown Heights

August 23, 2017 By Paul Frangipane Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Jermaine Matthews was sentenced to 18 years in prison at Brooklyn Supreme Court Wednesday for a fatal stabbing. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese.
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A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 18 years in prison Wednesday for fatally stabbing a teenager during an argument.

Jermaine Matthews, 20, previously pleaded guilty to stabbing 17-year-old John Garrett to death on June 10, 2015 in Crown Heights near Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue.

Matthews requested his sentencing be pushed back so he could get married to his longtime girlfriend before he was transferred to a prison upstate.

Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Laporte swiftly denied the request and carried on with sentencing at Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Matthews’ mother, who was in the court, also hoped for a delayed sentence, as it would be difficult for her to travel upstate, according to defense attorney Mahmoud Rabah.

Garrett’s mother was expected to make a statement Wednesday but did not appear in court because she was “too heartbroken,” Assistant District Attorney Olatokunbo Olaniyan said.  

The 18 years was a promised sentence from the guilty plea, but Laporte said that not even a 25-year sentence would be enough to alleviate the Garrett family’s pain.

“I hope that he thinks about this other family,” Laporte said of Matthews, who was staring back at his family and friends throughout the sentencing.

Matthews’ family members were audibly sobbing when Laporte delivered the nearly two-decade sentence.

Matthews and his girlfriend Donasia Vassell got into an argument with a group that included Garrett two years ago in Crown Heights. Vassell passed a knife to Matthews before he stabbed it into Garrett’s chest.

Vassell was sentenced on Aug. 18 to 30 days in prison for her role in the murder.

Friends of Matthews screamed out, “I love you, bro!” as Matthews was escorted out of the courtroom.


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