A man on trial for his role in a deadly Flanders home invasion struck a plea deal after a judge ruled that a prosecutor improperly withheld evidence from the defense, resulting in the prosecutors firing.
Messiah Booker pleaded guilty Tuesday at Suffolk County court to a charge of attempted burglary and a second-degree murder charge was dropped in exchange for his plea. Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock was fired later the same day.
“The conduct of the assigned prosecutor in this case was inexcusable resulting in further pain to the family of Demitri Hampton, and our prosecutors work tirelessly to make sure that does not happen,” Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “Unfortunately in this case, we failed with a devastating result. The District Attorney has asked for this prosecutor’s resignation and he has complied.”
Prosecutors had alleged that Booker was involved in the shooting death of Demitri Hampton in the victim’s Priscilla Avenue home at 3:15 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.
Three other suspects were arrested in 2015 for their roles in the case, police have said. Michael Parrish of Coram, Danielle Hall of Calverton and Corry Wallace of Riverhead have all pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and burglary charges. They are awaiting trial.
Booker is scheduled to be sentenced June 9 before Judge John Collins. He had faced up to 25 years to life, if convicted of murder.