A pair of sentencings for two men convicted of violent crimes ….
Tomorrow, Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli is scheduled to sentence Kenneth West, who was convicted by a jury of brutally killing Josephine O’Keefe in her Pelham apartment in 1983. West is facing 25 years to life for the cold-case slaying, which was brought to trial by newly-discovered DNA evidence. O’Keefe’s daughter, Sue Hupplesberg, is expected to give a victim’s impact statement at the sentencing. Click here to read the stories about the jury’s verdict.
UPDATE: WEST WAS SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE.
Then, on Thursday, after five (!) delays, state Supreme Court Justice Lester Adler may get to hand down his sentence to Tyrone Haywood, convicted of raping two prostitutes who he picked up near the Mount Vernon/Bronx border. Haywood hired a new lawyer for his sentencing, which has caused the matter to be adjourned over and over again. Click here to read about the case, including the conviction of his girlfriend for evidence tampering.
UPDATE: JUDGE DENIED HAYWOOD’S MOTION TO SET ASIDE THE VERDICT AND RE-SET SENTENCING FOR APRIL 30.
Apparently some jurors in the Kenneth West trial got snowed in and couldn’t make it to the Westchester County Courthouse today. Judge Barbara Zambelli adjourned the case to Wednesday (tomorrow is her calendar day), and the last-minute postponement surprised prosecutors and the defense, who were ready for closing arguments this morning. Also caught by surprise was a certain newspaper reporter who arrived at the courthouse a few minutes late, dashed up the stairs and found a locked, empty courtroom on the second floor.
The prosecution rested yesterday in the double-murder trial of Kenneth West, accused of killing Josephine O’Keefe, a 53-year-old Pelham grandmother in 1983, and June Roberts, a 23-year-old Yonkers woman in 1986, shown in an undated photo here.
Click here to read all about the West case.
West’s attorney, Allan Focarile, put no witnesses on the stand. He will try to convince the jury that the prosecution didn’t prove its DNA-based case and that reasonable doubt demands an acquittal.
Today, the lawyers held a charge conference with Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli in her chambers. O’Keefe’s daughter, Sue Huppelsberg, and her brother, Steve O’Keefe, still came to the county courthouse to keep tabs on the case. Huppelsberg, who lives in Florida, has been in the courtroom every day. She’ll fly back to the Sunshine State this weekend and come back to New York on Monday. Sue is on the right in this photo; that’s her mom on the left.
The jury will hear closing arguments Monday morning and start deliberations immediately afterwards. Zambelli plans to sequester the jury if they can’t reach a verdict by the end of the day.