UCDA: 20 Year Sentence For Accomplice in 2020 Kingston Murder
A man involved with a fatal City of Kingston shooting on the night of December 17, 2020, has been sentenced as an accomplice in the death of a 12-year-old girl.
The incident, which occurred at 60 Van Buren Street in the City of Kingston, involved two Kingston residents, then 24-year-old Gilbert Thomas, and 46-year-old Robert James, who were arrested on Christmas Eve of 2020 for murder, assault, and criminal possession of a firearm.
The report states that James was present during the incident where an AK-47 was shot into a residence occupied by five children, one of whom, 12-year-old D'Janeira Mason, was killed. The victim's brother, Dasane was also wounded in his arm at the time of the shooting.
Back in October, Gilbert Thomas pleaded guilty to murder, depraved indifference, a felony, for the murder of 12-year-old D’Janeira Mason. Thomas self-identifies as a member of the Bloods and allegedly used what was referred to as a 'community gun' to shoot into the home.
In a statement issued by the Ulster County District Attorney's Office this week, Robert "Nikki" James was sentenced to twenty years in state prison after a guilty plea of Criminal Possession of a Weapon on the 2nd Degree and a plea of guilty to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree.
The report indicates that James stated he told Thomas not to shoot because there were kids inside the house. Thomas reportedly told James “I don’t give a [expletive]” and then shot nine times. James carried a bag containing the murder weapon away from the scene.
After his indictment for Murder in the Second Degree, James entered a reduced plea agreement where he was to be sentenced to a total of 13 years in state prison. However, he then provided false statements to the Ulster County Department of Probation about whether he knowingly possessed a weapon, contradicted his knowing, voluntary, and an intelligent guilty plea entered on October 20, 2021.
Ulster County DA David Clegg offered James the opportunity to admit that he violated his obligation to 'truthfully and accurately state what he had done,' his admission would in turn result in an enhanced sentence. James, after due consideration, then admitted to the violation and was sentenced to a determinant sentence of 15 years, the maximum, on the Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd, and five years on the Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance, to run consecutively for a total of twenty years in State Prison plus eight years of post-release supervision.
In closing, DA Clegg shared his praise towards the victim's family for their strength and courage while standing up to the perpetrators, while also showing his appreciation for the effort of the police agencies involved with the case.