A Crown Heights man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for gunning down the alleged operator of an illegal East New York gambling parlor, Brooklyn’s top prosecutor announced on Wednesday.
“This defendant’s lawless behavior cost a man his life and inflicted great emotional pain on the victim’s family,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “He has now been held accountable for his crimes.”
A jury found Euzebelin Abellard, 35, guilty of second-degree murder after DNA evidence linked him to the underground high-rolling racket on New York Avenue between Snyder and Tilden avenues, where the defendant pulled a pistol on Jean Claude Bernagene while trying to force his way into the illicit club on Nov. 20, 2015.
Abellard brandished his gun and threatened the 51-year-old victim in Creole before blasting him in the torso and hand, according to Gonzalez.
An injured Bernagene managed to chase Abellard out of the building despite his gunshot wounds, but the defendant left behind a baseball hat before fleeing, which investigators later traced back to him, the district attorney said.
Paramedics rushed Bernagene to Kings County Hospital following the incident, but he died two days later from complications related to the shooting, according to a rep for Gonzalez.