MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Hempstead man has pleaded guilty today to manslaughter for the October 2015 shooting death of a 12-year-old girl in Hempstead.
Jakwan Keller, 22, pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz to Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a C felony). The defendant is due back in court April 10 and is expected to be sentenced to the maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.
“This defendant’s unconscionable recklessness stole the life of an innocent child, Dejah Joyner,” DA Singas said. “Our condolences are with Dejah’s family, friends, and the entire Hempstead community.”
DA Singas said that on October 16, 2015 at approximately 5 p.m. the defendant was driving a vehicle outside the Dartmouth Street home of 12-year-old Dejah Joyner, when he fired a single shot at the house. The shot entered the house and struck Joyner in the head as she was in the living room. Joyner was taken to Winthrop Hospital in Mineola in critical condition and died the next day.
Following an investigation, the defendant was arrested on January 10, 2016 in Hempstead by members of the Nassau County Police Department, with assistance from members of the Hempstead Village Police Department.
Chief Michael Walsh of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau and Deputy Chief Lauren Nickerson are prosecuting the case. Keller is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq.