Brooklyn

Trio Sentenced to 75 to Life for Robbery, Murder of NYPD Civilian Employee in 2017

Robert D’Onofrio was ambushed when he arrived home from work

the judge's stand inside a courtroom with a US flag in the background

Two men and one woman were each sentenced to 75 years to life in prison for the torture and murder of an NYPD civilian employee during a robbery at his Brooklyn home in 2017, the district attorney announced Thursday.

Abasie Brabam, 31, of Marietta, Georgia, Lee Williams, 30, of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Tanaja Grant, 32, of Orlando, Florida, were sentenced after being convicted of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary in April, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

According to the district attorney, citing the evidence in the case, on Feb. 8, 2017, the trio left Brownsville at approximately 4 a.m. to drive to the house of Robert D’Onofrio, 66, located on Bay 8th Street in Bensonhurst. Once they arrived, they waited for him and his daughter to leave. Once they left, the group entered the house and stole electronics, jewelry, boxes of ammunition, and other items, according to the evidence.

Subsequently, the group waited for D’Onofrio to return home to force him to open a safe in the garage where he kept firearms, according to the district attorney's office.

Grant, who had a relationship with D'Onofrio, texted him throughout the day to find out where he was, who he was with and when he would be home.

It was at around 5 p.m., the trio ambushed him when he arrived home. They struck him multiple times in the head with blunt objects, whipped him across the torso with a belt, and dragged him provoking the flesh on his knees to be teared off, according to evidence in the case.

D'Onofrio was then shot twice with one of the bullets pierced his lung and heart, while the other entered his back and pierced the same lung, the district attorney said.

The trio fled in Ford Mustang, packed with stolen property taken from his house. D'Onofrio's body was found by his daughter, 31, in the garage.

“The depravity of this horrific murder can’t be overstated and the lengthy prison terms to which these defendants were sentenced today holds them accountable for torturing and killing an innocent man during a carefully-planned robbery. While no sentence can return Robert D’Onofrio to his loved ones, I hope this sentence gives some solace to his family and friends," Gonzalez said.

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