Southern Brooklyn

Firefighter’s killer gets 25 years to life

March 9, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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The man who bludgeoned an off-duty Brooklyn firefighter to death three years ago is going away for a long time.

Joseph Desmond, 33, was sentenced March 4 to 25 years to life in prison for murdering Faizal Coto, who worked at Engine 245 in Coney Island.

Desmond and Coto, 33, had a fender-bender on the Belt Parkway near the Verrazzano Bridge shortly before 5 a.m. on Dec. 9, 2018. After they pulled to the side of the road, Desmond hit Coto in the head with a blunt object and drove away. He was arrested at a New Jersey motel the next day.

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A jury convicted Desmond of second-degree murder last month.

“This defendant’s vicious response to a minor fender-bender robbed a close family of a loved one and a firefighter community of a brave and treasured brother,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

Coto’s brother Ishmael addressed Desmond during sentencing, according to the New York Post.

“My brother can no longer see or talk to his family, and there is no hope that he’ll come back and be reunited with us and it’s just not fair,” he said.

Joseph Desmond murdered off-duty firefighter Faizal Coto on the Belt Parkway in 2018. Eagle Urban Media/file photo by Mark Mellone

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