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April 7, 2022 – Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced the successful prosecution of five G-Shine Bloods gang members and associates for conspiracy to murder an eyewitness. The last of five defendants, Damien Rickard, was sentenced on April 4, 2022.

Between August 2018 and March 2019, Jason Garcia conspired with Matthew Brown, Cassaundra Dunham, Laquanna Kershaw and Damien Rickard to murder an eyewitness to a shooting outside the Garden Bar & Grill in Mount Vernon in 2016. At that time, Garcia and Brown were being held at Westchester County Jail awaiting trial on charges connected with the shooting, at which trial the eyewitness was scheduled to testify.

The defendants were all arrested on March 16, 2019.

Garcia, 38, of Mount Vernon, and Rickard 44, of Yonkers, were each convicted after trial before Judge Robert Neary in Westchester County Court.

Garcia, a discretionary persistent violent felony offender, was convicted of Attempted Murder in the First Degree, Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, all felonies, and was sentenced on March 8, 2022, to 25 years to life in state prison. The sentence will run consecutive to the 20 years to life Garcia had received in 2020 after trial before Judge Anne Minihan for the Garden Bar shooting.

Rickard, a discretionary persistent felony offender, was convicted of Conspiracy in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, and was sentenced on April 4, 2022, to 18 years to life in state prison.

Brown, 37, of Wilmington, Delaware, pled guilty to Conspiracy in the Second Degree and was sentenced as a predicate felony offender on March 10, 2020, to an indeterminate term of 10 to 20 years in state prison. The sentence will run concurrent to the 20 years, with five years of post-release supervision, Brown had received in 2020 after pleading guilty to the Garden Bar shooting.

Kershaw, 34, of Ossining, pled guilty to Conspiracy in the Second Degree and was sentenced on June 22, 2021, to an indeterminate term of 7 to 21 years in state prison.

Dunham, 45, of Yonkers, was sentenced on Jan. 11, 2022, to a determinate term of 7.5 years in state prison on a plea of guilty to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and an indeterminate term of four to 12 years in state prison on a plea of guilty to Conspiracy in the Second Degree.

The investigation was a collaborative effort between the District Attorney’s Office and the Westchester County Department of Corrections’ Major Case Squad. The Westchester County Department of Public Safety, Ossining Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department and Yonkers Police Department assisted with the investigation and arrests.

District Attorney Rocah said: “Protecting witnesses and their safety is absolutely critical to a well-functioning justice system. This case demonstrates how law enforcement works together to protect witnesses and ensure their safety. I commend the members of my Office and the Department of Corrections for their vigilance in preventing a murder and a travesty of justice. I also want to thank our other law enforcement partners for their assistance on this very important case.”

Corrections Commissioner Joseph Spano said: “I applaud the efforts of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office for the successful prosecution of these five G-Shine gang members. The collaboration that uncovered this unique and complex attempted murder and conspiracy case is a testament to all involved law enforcement agencies, including our Departments Major Case Squad.”

The District Attorney’s Office Trials & Investigations Division prosecuted the case.

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Jess Vecchiarelli, Director of Communications
(914) 995-3586
jvecchiarelli@westchesterda.net

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