Brooklyn Boro

Jury convicts Philly man for causing death of man met through dating app

December 19, 2018 By Christina Carrega Brooklyn Daily Eagle
David Keegan Riotto Haigh (right) sits next to his attorney Thomas H. Andrykovitz inside Brooklyn Supreme Court. After a two-week murder trial with emotional testimony, a jury convicted Haigh on Wednesday him for the manslaughter of James Johnson on April 9, 2017. Photo by Curtis Means
Share this:

After a two-week murder trial, a Brooklyn jury acquitted a Pennsylvania man on Wednesday for stabbing and killing a man he’d just met on a dating app.

David Keegan Riotto Haigh had a brief moment of relief inside Brooklyn Supreme Court as the foreman announced that the jury found him not guilty of the second-degree murder of James “Koron” Johnson.

But in the next breath, Haigh and members of his family in the courtroom were in tears as the jury unanimously agreed that he was guilty of first-degree manslaughter. Haigh faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and a minimum of five.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Haigh, 43, has been remanded on Rikers Island since April 9, 2017, when he called police after plunging a long kitchen knife into Johnson’s heart during a brawl in the victim’s apartment. The pair met on Jack’d, dating app for gay men, and spent a drug-and-alcohol fueled 48 hours in Fort Greene’s Ingersoll Houses before the meetup took an ugly turn.

Haigh claimed that, scared that Johnson was going to harm him, he fought back in self defense.

The jury panel of nine women and three men reviewed several pieces of evidence as they deliberated, including phone records showing that Haigh called 911 before the fight and texted a friend “9-1-1.”

Johnson, 41, sustained 18 stab wounds and 21 lacerations during the attack, but the fatal wound was one to the heart, according to trial testimony.

Haigh’s defense attorney Thomas H. Andrykovitz presented a self-defense case that the jury rejected, despite testimony from another man who had met Johnson on Jack’d and claimed the man sexually assaulted him.

“At some point it was self-defense, but after looking at the evidence over and over and over again, we realized it went too far,” said one of the jurors, who declined to be identified. “He had opportunities to leave and he didn’t.”

Photo of the murder weapon used to kill James Johnson on April 9, 2017. Photo by Curtis Means
Photo of the murder weapon used to kill James Johnson on April 9, 2017.
Photo by Curtis Means


The juror told the Brooklyn Eagle that the number of stab wounds was a factor in the jury’s decision. “There were too many,” the juror said.

“This wasn’t justice, not at all,” said Johnson’s cousin La-Ron D. Gakin, who testified at the trial and was present in the courtroom for the verdict. “This was an emotional and tragic event. We were close in age; we grew up together. It was hard to hear everything that happened that night.”

Andrykovitz is expected to file a motion to set aside the jury’s verdict on Jan. 2. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice is expected to sentence Haigh on Jan. 10.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

1 Comment