In late December 2019, Justtin Kenyotta Haywood, 40, traveled from Colorado to Poughkeepsie, New York. There, he “met with a co-conspirator ... who offered him $5,000 to kill another male individual,” according to prosecutors.
Haywood agreed and on Jan. 15, 2020, he tried to carry out the murder-for-hire hit. That day, “…wrongly believing to have found his intended target, [he] approached three teenagers playing basketball in King Street Park in Poughkeepsie and attempted to shoot one of them, a 17-year-old boy, ultimately chasing them in his car as they fled on foot and firing multiple shots from inside of his car,” prosecutors said.
Haywood missed his target.
After his arrest, Haywood pleaded guilty to murder for hire and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Haywood was sentenced to 17 years in prison, prosecutors announced on March 6.
He must also serve three years of post-release supervision.
“Justtin Haywood’s sentence shows that senseless acts of violence will be met with severe consequences,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “Haywood agreed to murder another individual and then shot at an innocent 17-year-old boy, who had been playing basketball with friends in a park. For this crime, Haywood will spend 17 years in federal prison.”
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