Man who killed The Wire’s ‘Omar’ gets 2.5 years
In a verdict met with mixed reactions, Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams sentenced Carlos Macci to 2.5 years in prison and three years on supervised release for his role in connection with the overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams. An additional year of Macci’s sentence will be spent in inpatient drug treatment.
The decision was a balanced response to prosecutors’ requests for a longer sentence and pleas for leniency and treatment from the loved ones of Williams. It was a difficult day for all who held the late actor dear, including Williams’ nephew, Dominic Dupont, who found no winners in the situation. Yet, Dupont expressed hope in the possibility of responsibility, accountability, and empathy coexisting.
Macci, dressed in a khaki jail uniform, showed remorse during the proceedings. He was one of the four men who pleaded guilty to federal drug conspiracy charges after prosecutors asserted that Williams had overdosed on fentanyl-laced heroin bought from them in September 2021.
Williams, best known for his role in the TV show “The Wire,” was also a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform. Prosecutors suggested a minimum sentence of four years for Macci, citing his history of selling deadly drugs, past state charges, and the need for a deterrent in light of the nationwide surge in overdose deaths. They also saw potential for Macci’s prison term to aid his struggle with drug addiction.
Contrarily, Macci’s defense team pleaded for the consideration of the time already served in jail as his full sentence. Macci’s difficult upbringing, cognitive impairments, and drug addiction were cited as factors pleading for leniency. As a man in his 70s with only a second-grade education, Macci’s involvement in the drug trade was framed as a response to desperate circumstances after losing his factory job.
The remaining three men linked to the case — Irvin Cartagena, Hector Robles, and Luiz Cruz — are due to be sentenced later this year. Amid this, Williams’ friends and colleagues have sought mercy for the accused, considering Williams’ advocacy against mass incarceration and his work with at-risk youth in Brooklyn. Dominic Dupont underscored the need for a balance between Macci receiving help and accepting responsibility for his actions.
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