WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Three men have pleaded guilty in connection with the killing of a promising baseball prospect at a Burger King parking lot in Yonkers last year.
Acting Westchester County District Attorney James A. McCarty announced the guilty pleas Wednesday of Nashaun Hunter, Darren Dawson and Tejmitra Singh in the shooting death of 23-year-old Michael Nolan.
Hunter pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first degree manslaughter while Dawson and Singh each pleaded guilty to one count of assault in the first degree, McCarty said.
All three are set to be sentenced in October. Hunter’s manslaughter plea is expected to come with a 25-year prison sentence, avoiding the possibility of life in prison. Dawson is expected to get 9 years while Singh is expected to receive 11 years.
A fourth suspect, Garth O’Neil Cole, is charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He pleaded not guilty in March and is due back in court in August.
Nolan’s family and friends left the courthouse bearing expressions of their grief after three defendants pleaded guilty.
“Justice was served, but it’ll never replace who my brother was,” Jimmy Nolan said.
Singh, who had been out on bail, went back behind bars Wednesday and told his mother he loved her on his way to the lock-up. That hit Nolan’s mom like a thunderbolt, CBS2’s Lou Young reported.
“I don’t get that no more. They took all of that from me,” Donna Nolan said outside of court. “I don’t get to kiss my son, I don’t get to hold him, I don’t get to talk to him — nothing. They took that from me because of their cowardly punk actions so I feel nothing for any of them. Nothing.”
Authorities said Hunter opened fire from a car, hitting Nolan in a Burger King parking lot on Central Avenue in September of last year. The other suspects were allegedly in the car during the shooting.
Nolan was shot in the head, authorities said. He was taken to the hospital where he remained in a coma until he died from his injuries on October 9.
Authorities said .25 caliber shell casings were found at the scene and a .25 caliber bullet was recovered from Nolan’s body.
Police said the shooting was connected to a fight during a drag race two nights earlier. Authorities said it was in retaliation for beating someone who was known to the suspects.
Hunter’s lawyer, Sherman Jackson, said his client wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, but said it was a vengeful attempt to frighten Nolan.
“They were trying to scare him,” Jackson said. “It was a .25, which is smaller than my hand, from a moving vehicle, at night from about 40 feet away.”
Nolan had been drafted by the Oakland Athletics out of Oklahoma City University, but had never pitched in an official Minor League game.
At the time of the shooting, Athletics general manager David Forst said “Michael will always be a member of the A’s family.”