Closing arguments in shooting ambush of Yonkers family

UPDATE: Shooting suspects Charles Parsley and Kasaun White have been convicted of all charges in the case.

Someone wanted Sandra Hackley-Cornielle dead, but no one is saying who, or why.

What Westchester County prosecutors did say today in their closing arguments was that Charles Parsley and Kasaun White worked together with a third man on a mission to kill the 36-year-old mother of two, and in the process shot her husband and their 12-year-old daughter two years ago.

Prosecutors suggested the men were acting on the behest of someone who put a hit on Hackley-Cornielle (left). They mentioned a suspicious visit she had weeks earlier when two men, posing as police, came to her home asking about her husband’s ex-wife. She did not let them in.

The encounter led to the repair of the apartment building’s security camera, which prosecutors said filmed White and Parsley entering the building and leaving in a hurry. White’s lawyer, Mayo Bartlett, said the man on the tape was not their clients, and Parsley’s lawyer said his client may have been in Yonkers that day but had nothing to do with the shootings.

Parsley and White, cousins from Long Island, are alleged to have staked out the family’s apartment at 1159 Yonkers Ave. on April 21, 2010, waiting for Hackley-Cornielle to come home from her marketing job in New Hyde Park, Long Island.

That evening, a man wearing what looked like a UPS uniform buzzed their apartment, saying he said he had a package that Sandra had to sign for. When Rafael Cornielle opened the door, he was ambushed. His wife was shot five times and died almost instantly. He was shot three times and lived. Their elder daughter was shot once in the leg, while their younger daughter was unharmed.

A motive for the slaying was never discussed during the trial; in fact, the defense for each man argued that the lack of a motive was one reason why their clients were innocent.

The jury will be charged and begin deliberations today. Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli told them they would have lunch brought to them and may have to stay as late as 6 p.m.

White (above, left) and Parsley (right) face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.

A third defendant, English Thomas, who allegedly drove the two friends to and from the crime scene and provided the box that the shooter used as a prop, is due to be tried at a later date.