Federal prosecutors are in the process of deciding whether to seek the death penalty against three Yonkers men charged in the drug-related slaying of 22-year-old Tyrone Bergmann in January 2008.
Davon Young, Thomas Chambliss, and Gregory Fuller are charged with murder in the case. The U.S. attorney’s office says the case is death penalty eligible. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick McQuaid said at a hearing before Judge Cathy Seibel that prosecutors in White Plains should reach a determination by December. Then they’ll let the U.S. Attorney General know what they think. But it is ultimately A.G. Eric Holder’s office that’ll make the decision about whether or not to seek death in the case. Defense lawyers will submit memos to federal prosecutors (called mitigation submissions) that will make the case why federal prosecutors should forego a death penalty prosecution and seek a maximum of life imprisonment instead. Those are due by October, Seibel said.
There have been two cases in the last five years in White Plains where federal prosecutors weighed the death penalty. In one case, that of Paul Douglas, a former cop from Jamaica who murdered Brinks ATM technician Milton Moran Jr. in a Yonkers robbery, the feds elected not to seek the death penalty. Douglas is currently serving a life sentence. In the other, the feds did seek death for Khalid Barnes, the convicted leader of a Peekskill drug gang who killed two other drug dealers in a Manhattan apartment and robbed them of $20K worth of cocaine. A federal jury in White Plains spared Barnes’ life after convicting him. He was sentenced to life in prison.