Bedford-Stuyvesant

Gang member who allegedly killed two Brooklyn moms in crossfire pleads not guilty

December 14, 2017 By Paul Frangipane Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Nazir Saunders appeared in Brooklyn Supreme Court after he was extradited from South Carolina to face murder charges. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

One of two alleged gang members who are accused with killing a pair of Brooklyn mothers pleaded not guilty on Thursday to murder charges in Kings County Supreme Court.

After being caught on the run with his alleged co-defendant on Oct. 31 in East Rock Hill, South Carolina, Nazir Saunders, 20, was extradited to Brooklyn to be arraigned on first-degree murder charges and weapon possession.

Saunders is accused, with Anthony Alexander, of killing Chynna Battle, 21, and Shaqwanda Staley, 29, a pair of innocent bystanders who were caught in the gunfire in the Stuyvesant Gardens project courtyard on July 12 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to court documents.

Saunders and Alexander, 18, allegedly fired multiple times, catching the mothers between them and their targets.

The family of Battle, who was fatally shot in the head, has raised nearly $26,000 to help take care of her 3-year-old daughter. Of the 149 donors was NBA star and Brooklyn native Taj Gibson, who donated $20,000 to the family.

“What these cowards done to Chynna was cruel and reckless,” the GoFundMe page reads. “Our family has set up this fund to assist with the day to day needs for Chynna Ann’s daughter, she always wanted the very best for her ‘Milly’ and worked every day to provide for her.”

Saunders and Alexander face life in prison if convicted of the top charge.

Saunders was ordered held without bail by Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog to return to court via video conference on Feb. 22, 2018.

Alexander is slated to be arraigned on Friday.

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