Brooklyn man who murdered a 16-year-old Guyanese girl gets 41 years jail

DEAD: Shemel Shemel Mercurius (Facebook photo)

Brooklyn District Attorney (DA) Eric Gonzalez announced today that a 26-year-old East Flatbush man was sentenced to 41 years in prison for the 2016 shooting death of 16-year-old Guyanese emigrant Shemel Mercurius.

Online news reports had said that the 16-year-old used her dying breaths to tell police that Taariq Stephens, was her attacker.

(R) Taariq Stephens                                                                     (L) Dead: Shemel Mercurius

According to trial testimony, Stephens pushed his way into a sixth-story apartment in Flatbush Gardens just before 6:00 pm on May 31, 2016, carrying a .40 caliber submachine rifle and shot her while she was babysitting her 3-year old cousin.

Police subsequently kicked down the East Flatbush apartment door to find a blood-spattered boy crying, next to the dying teen.

One NYPD officer tried to help Mercurius while they waited around 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. She reportedly told him that Stephens had wanted to date her but she wasn’t interested. She later died at a local hospital.

Surveillance footage from the scene showed the Stephens outside the door with a rifle, then forcing his way into the apartment when the teenager denied him entry.

Shemel Mercurius was a student at Murrow High, having emigrated from Guyana four years before the incident, with hopes of attending college in the U.S.

“This defendant will now spend many years behind bars for the callous killing of an innocent teenage girl who was taken from her loved ones far too early,” said DA Gonzalez in a statement. “Nothing can bring Shemel back to her devastated family, but I hope that today’s sentence will afford them a small measure of solace.”

Taariq Stephens turned himself in to the police two days after the shooting, and was convicted last month on charges of first-degree manslaughter, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.