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Posted on: February 18, 2022

Hempstead Man Sentenced to 50 Yrs to Life in Prison in Attack that Killed Mother, Sister & Friend

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Bobby Vanderhall attacked his mother, sister, and two of his sister’s friends with a hammer in the family home

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Hempstead man was sentenced today to 50 years to life in prison in a bludgeoning that left his mother, sister, and a family friend dead, and injured another woman in the home. 

Bobby Vanderhall, 39, of Hempstead, pleaded guilty on October 26, 2021 before Judge Patricia Harrington to murder in the first degree (an A-I felony) and attempted murder in the second degree (a B violent felony). Vanderhall was sentenced today to 50 years to life in prison.  

“An act of swift and extreme violence took the lives of three individuals and tore apart two families,” said DA Donnelly. “This sentence is the just punishment for these heinous crimes. NCDA continues to keep the Vanderhall and Simpson families in our thoughts as they try to heal from this tragedy.”

According to the indictment, on August 12, 2017 at approximately 1:10 a.m., the defendant forcibly entered his family home in Hempstead with a hammer and screwdriver. Once inside, Vanderhall used the hammer to bludgeon his mother, Lynn, his sister, Melissa, and his sister’s friend, Janel Simpson, to death. Vanderhall also used kitchen knives to stab his mother and sister several times.

A fourth victim who was in the home was also attacked but was able to escape with injuries to her wrist, arm, and head, and alerted police. 

Vanderhall fled the scene and was arrested a few hours later by detectives of the Nassau County Police Department.

The case was prosecuted by Ania Pulaski of the Homicide Bureau. The defendant is represented by Derrick Magwood, Esq.

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