Romona Moore was a 21-year old Hunter College Student who had left her home on April 24, 2003 and was later kidnapped, held prisoner, tortured, raped and murdered. She had lived with her parents, and with relatives from Guyana, in the East Flatbush, Brooklyn section of New York City.[1] (Initial police reports about the murder incorrectly spelled Moore's first name as "Ramona.")

Disappearance and Murder

Moore had left her home on April 24 at approximately 7:30 p.m. to see a friend and later left around 9:00 p.m. to eat at a Burger King restaurant at Church and Remsen avenues.[2] There had been no further mention of Moore since then until her body was found, a few blocks from her home.[2] Her mother, Ellie Carmichael, had received an anonymous phone call, informing her to go to a certain address on King's Highway where a home had experienced a fire.[2] The caller has not been identified.[2] The mother then contacted police and officers from the 67th Precinct and Emergency Service Units searched the premises until Moore's body was discovered, wrapped in a blanket.[2] It was determined that Moore had been beaten to death about her head and chest.[2]

Trial and details

The details of Moore's captivity, treatment and murder were detailed in the court trial:

"Prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi said two thugs terrorized Romona Moore for days in a Brooklyn basement in April 2003 - repeatedly raping her and attacking her with a knife, a saw, a hammer and a barbell. Defendants Troy Hendrix, 22, and Kayson Pearson, 23, are also charged with kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl days after they allegedly killed Moore. "Romona Moore's injuries are indescribable,' said Nicolazzi. "The horror she endured, the torture she endured will become clear."[3]

The witnesses and the accused in court

Romando Jack, a friend of Hendrix and Pearson witnessed Moore's captivity but did nothing to report her captivity to police, leaving instead to go to a baby shower.[4] Jack also told his fiancee and fiancee's uncle about Moore's torture and captivity. [4] Another witness, this one being female, provided testimony in court that changed three times and led to her own stories of abuse and beatings.[5]

Attack in the court room

Soon later Pearson attacked one of the bailiffs.[6][7][8][9] He also tried to get the bailiff's pistol.[6][7][8][9] Pearson became violent in the courtroom on November 24, trying to escape.[6][7][8][9] He attacked his lawyer, appointed by the Court, with "sharpened plastic" according to one report.[6][7][8][9]

Mistrial and conviction

A mistrial was later declared.[10] New charges were brought against them and a conviction.[11][12] Hendrix and Pearson, who were reputedly members of the Bloods gang, were later found guilty in court.[13] To quote one article on their attitude in court:

"Before being hit with an additional 22 years for the botched escape try, Kayson Pearson, 24 - already serving life for the unspeakably brutal murder of the young woman - told a stunned courtroom, "We did it for fun. It was fun to see a system that has so much power and control lose it in a second." "That day, Jan. 19, 2006, was the most fun I have had in my entire life." "The judge, he's the one with all the power, was running away, bumping his knee."[14]

Impact of her murder

The ABC television series "NYPD 24/7"[15][16][17] discussed the issue of television crews getting unchecked documents, mentioning the Romona Moore case[16] Moore's case later garnered further media attention by the abduction, rape, torture and murder of John Jay College of Criminal Justice student, Imette St. Guillen.[18] However, Moore's case did not receive the attention that her family felt it deserved.[18][19]

As of April, 2008, Moore's mother, Elle Carmichael, has a federal lawsuit to sue the NYPD[20][21] and has had her case cleared by Brooklyn Federal Judge Nina Gershon.[22] Carmichael is claiming that NYPD "used a double standard" of not searching for Moore while "aggressively pursuing the disappearance of white women".[22] The police at the 67th Precinct had rejected Carmichael's request to find her daughter by saying that "she was probably off with a boyfriend".[22] Carmichael contrasted the abduction of her daughter with the case of St. Guillen.[22] City lawyer Robyn Pullio indicated that she was looking forward to a hearing in this case.[22]

Notes

  1. "Remembering Romona Committee". Angelfire. August 22, 2003. http://www.angelfire.com/hero/romonamoore/. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Local College Student Slain". Canarsie Courier. May 15, 2003. http://www.canarsiecourier.com/News/2003/0515/Front_Page/. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  3. "Court Hears Brutal Telling Of Hunter Student's Death". The New York Daily News. January 19, 2006. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2006/01/19/2006-01-19_court_hears_brutal_telling_of_hunter_stu.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12.[dead link]
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Witness in 2003 Murder Testifies". Gothamist. March 3, 2006. http://gothamist.com/2006/03/03/witness_in_2003.php. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  5. "Principle Witness Refuted in Hunter College Student Murder". The Epoch Times. March 15, 2006. http://en.epochtimes.com/news/6-3-15/39316.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Stab Chaos in Court - Attorney knifed as suspects bring bloody mayhem to Brooklyn murder trial". The New York Daily News. January 20, 2006. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2006/01/20/2006-01-20_stab_chaos_in_court_attorney_knifed_as_s.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12.[dead link]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Rape-Slay Trial Escape Attempt". New York Post. January 20, 2006.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Brooklyn DA to seek death penalty in killing of college student". Rick Halperin. January 15, 2004. Archived from the original on 2006-09-07. http://web.archive.org/web/20060907090149/http://venus.soci.niu.edu/~archives/ABOLISH/rick-halperin/mar04/1047.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Brick, Michael (January 20, 2006). "Metro Briefing". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9906EEDB123FF933A15752C0A9609C8B63&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fL%2fLegal%20Profession. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  10. "Mistrial declared after lawyer stabbed". ABC Eyewitness News 7Online.com. January 23, 2006. http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=local&id=3837778. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  11. "New Court Trauma - Mistrial for duo in melee". The New York Daily News. January 24, 2006. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2006/01/24/2006-01-24_new_court_trauma_mistrial_for_duo_in_mel.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12.[dead link]
  12. "Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes Announced the Murder Conviction Of Troy Hendrix and Kayson Pearson - Defendants Face Life Without Parole". Press Releases King's County District Attorney's Office. March 23, 2006. http://www.brooklynda.org/News/press_releases_2006.htm#011. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  13. "Two Guilty Verdicts In Moore Murder Case". Gothamist. March 24, 2006. http://gothamist.com/2006/03/24/two_guilty_verd.php. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  14. "Killer's 'Fun' Day In Court". The New York Post. November 21, 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-09-17. http://web.archive.org/web/20080917162558/http://www.nypost.com/seven/11212006/news/regionalnews/killers_fun_day_in_court_regionalnews_alex_ginsberg.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-12.[dead link]
  15. "ABC News Presents NYPD 24/7". DVD Talk. January 11, 2005. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/14893/abc-news-presents-nypd-24-7/. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "NYPD Expecting More Black Eyes From 'NYPD 24/7'". Officer.com Law Enforcement News. Sunday, July 11, 2004. http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/NYPD-Expecting-More-Black-Eyes-From-NYPD-247/1$14809. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  17. Dewan, Shaila K. (June 20, 2004). "COVER STORY; What Real Cops Do At 3 in the Morning". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A00E3D61330F933A15755C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Brick, Michael (March 23, 2006). "Awaiting Verdict, Victim's Family Feels '03 Killing Is Eclipsed Again". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/23/nyregion/23murder.html?_r=1&ex=1183089600&en=be5ae4588ff11a55&ei=5070&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  19. "Police Defend Differences in Searches for 2 Women". The New York Times. May 14, 2003. http://www.svetlanaaronov.com/articles/0514nyt.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  20. "Federal Lawsuit to Challenge Law Enforcement on Ignoring Crimes Against Black Women and Girls:Romona Moore". What About Our Daughters. May 7th, 2008. http://www.whataboutourdaughters.com/2008/05/federal-lawsuit-to-challenge-law-enforcement-on-ignoring-crimes-against-black-women-and-girlsromona-moore/. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  21. "NYPD Inaction Over a Missing Black Woman Found Dead Sparks a Historic Racial-Bias Lawsuit". The Village Voice. May 6, 2008. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-05-06/news/missing-in-action/1. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Katz, Nancie L. (April 3, 2008). "Mother of slain girl wins OK to sue police for bias in lack of investigation". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2008/04/03/2008-04-03_mother_of_slain_girl_wins_ok_to_sue_poli-1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
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