ASTORIA, NY – Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Jerald Bethea, is facing murder and weapons charges for shooting and killing a worker who was tending the grounds of the Astoria Houses in April 2020. The innocent bystander was hit by a bullet that was intended for someone else.
District Attorney Katz said, “The victim in this case was a young man who was simply doing his job. This is what senseless gun violence does – it kills innocent people, devastates loved ones and traumatizes communities. The defendant eluded capture for months, but he has now been apprehended and will face justice in our Courts.”
Bethea, 19, of 27th Avenue in Astoria, was arraigned very early this morning before Queens Criminal Court Judge David Kirschner on a complaint charging him with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Judge Kirschner remanded the defendant and set his return date for October 23, 2020. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison. District Attorney Katz said that, around 3 p.m. on April 9, 2020, Darrian Ramdial, the 25-year-old victim and a Navy veteran, was working on the grounds of the Astoria Houses when a stray bullet hit him in the lower torso. The defendant allegedly was shooting at another individual and hit Ramdial.
The victim was taken to a nearby hospital but died six days later. According to the charges, Bethea fled the area and evaded police for months. He was apprehended by the New York City Police Department’s Felony Warrant Squad early yesterday. The investigation was conducted by Detective Andrew Alloro of the NYPD’s Queens North Homicide Squad under the supervision of Lieutenant Timothy Thompson and Police Officer Scott Sohn of the 114th Pct. Squad under the supervision of Lieutenant Brian Hillman. Assistant District Attorneys Joseph Grasso and Kirk Sendlein, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, are prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, Bureau Chief, Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John W. Kosinski and Kenneth A. Appelbaum, Deputy Bureau Chiefs and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.