Two New York men were blackmailed by their friend for proceeds of a drug deal. Then they killed him.
Now, they will remain behind bars for decades.
Recently, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero sentenced Denfield Joseph and Kevin Delvalle to 30 years and 35 years, respectively, in federal prison for the stabbing death and dismemberment of Donnell Harris.
Both Joseph and Delvalle pleaded guilty to the murder, 12 years after the gruesome crime.
The defendants were identified by authorities as members of the Bronx chapter street gang known as the Blood Stone Mafia, reported Democrat and Chronicle. In 2010, the gang was involved in trafficking narcotics and committing several armed robberies along 173rdStreet and Moroe.
As a result, Joseph and Devalle cheated a drug customer who sought revenge by searching the neighborhood with the intent of shooting both defendants.
Meanwhile, Harris, who was homeless and living on the rooftop of Joseph’s apartment, had often requested to join Joseph and Devalle in the gang’s activities. They repeatedly denied him. After the victim found out about the angry customer’s quest, he threatened to reveal the defendants’ location unless Joseph and Devalle should give him some of the proceeds from the deal.
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According to prosecutors, on August 31, 2010, the defendants, with another co-conspirator Paris Soto, initially tried shooting Harris to death at Corona Park but decided against it. Alternatively, they invited Harris to an apartment on LaFontaine Avenue in the Bronx to drink and smoke PCP.
As the victim headed towards the apartment’s entrance, the trio stabbed Harris repeatedly in the neck, face, and torso with knives from the kitchen. Next, they tried to drown him in the bathtub but were unsuccessful. While still begging for his life and attempting to break free from the trio, Delvalle retrieved an extension cord and strangled the victim to death, reported the U.S. Department of Justice.
The next day, Joseph and Delvalle returned to the apartment with their girlfriends, who dismembered Harris and placed the garbage bags filled with his body parts in a shopping cart. After cleaning up the apartment with bleach, the women pushed the cart to a sidewalk nearby a convenience store along the 4000 Block of Park Avenue.
Then, the men lit the cart and Harris’ body parts on fire, drawing the fire department's attention, who put the blaze out.
Later, authorities identified Harris and retrieved video footage from the surrounding security cameras, which captured the defendants’ girlfriends pushing the cart. In addition, the video also captured two males wearing hoods at the scene of the burning cart.
Joseph and Soto were arrested in 2017, while Delvalle was arrested in 2018 after U.S. Marshalls tracked him to a house on Mead Street in the Rochester area.
Marrero sentenced each of the defendants to additional four years of supervised release.
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