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Court Hearings (Against Bouncers)

 

Bouncer Found Guilty of Two Murders

After a lengthy trial and almost a week of deliberations, a jury convicted a violent nightclub bouncer for two of three murders committed in 2005.

On Friday the panel found former nightclub bouncer Stephen Sakai guilty on two of three counts of murder for the shooting deaths of three men back in late 2005. After a four-day deliberation period that saw one juror replaced due to illness, the panel returned their decision in mid afternoon on Friday, signaling that prosecutors presented enough evidence for a conviction.

Sakai was also acquitted of a third murder, the shooting death of Irving Matos, and a former co-worker with whom Sakai had a friendship. Matos was found shot to death in his Crown Heights apartment in November 2005.

Sakai was convicted of the murders of Edwin Mojica and Wayne Tyson. Mojica was also found shot to death in his home, while Tyson was killed with a knife.

Sakai, who took the stand in his own defense and gave jurors an impression of a paranoid fantasist who believed the police had been trying to frame him for a crime because of evidence he “uncovered of their corruption.

Employing a stereotypical, mock-Asian accent as he testified, Sakai claimed he was forced to sign a statement admitting responsibility for the three homicides. He said to the court that police investigators threatened him and his family, though no record of any complaints were ever filed, despite Sakai’s claims otherwise.

At his sentencing on Jan. 3, state Supreme Court Justice John Walsh could give Sakai up to 25 years to life for each count of second-degree murder. One law enforcement source said prosecutors would be asking for the maximum penalty for the execution-style slayings, with a special request that the sentences run consecutively — meaning Sakai would have to serve one 25-year sentence before the second 25-year sentence would begin.

Defense attorney Kleon Andriates challenged the evidence presented at trial, though jurors in the end did not believe Sakai’s theory of corrupt police, nor the more pedestrian self-defense claim he used for the second homicide.

Sakai had been in custody awaiting trial, and will now face charges for an unrelated shooting in Manhattan at a nightclub in Chelsea where he shot one man, seriously wounding him.

 

 

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