East Setauket Man’s Killer Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison

Brett Knight
Brett Knight was sentenced to 22 years in prison for second-degree murder and other charges for the slaying of a 50-year-old East Setauket man.

A Utah man who unloaded a barrage of bullets into a well-regarded horse riding instructor’s East Setauket home two summers ago was sentenced Tuesday at Suffolk County court to 22 years in prison for the man’s murder.

Brett Knight, who sparked a nationwide manhunt following the shocking slaying, had pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, among other charges.

Prosecutors said Knight, a 47-year-old ex-American Express executive, acted out of a feeling of betrayal and belief that the victim, 50-year-old Ross Reisner, betrayed him amid a legal dispute.

Knight, according to prosecutors, hid in the bushes near Reisner’s home on Sept. 24, 2013 and fired 11 rounds through the kitchen window, striking and killing Reisner. Another man, identified in published reports as Resiner’s boyfriend, was injured in the shooting, prosecutors said.

Knight fled the state after the murder, but was eventually apprehended by federal authorities who tracked him down in Tennessee. After his arrest, he told Suffolk County police homicide detectives that he felt Reisner and his boyfriend “betrayed him” and destroyed his life, prosecutors said.

Knight had met the pair in the early ’90s and moved in with them after he was fired by American Express, prosecutors said. Their relationship soured after Knight accused the two of interfering in his wrongful termination lawsuit against American Express, which was settled out of court. He was eventually evicted from his basement apartment after he assaulted Resiner’s boyfriend in 2010, prosecutors said.

Knight also pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon and three counts of aggravated harassment.

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