SOLDIER'S KILLER GETS 40 YEARS
Joseph Carrington, the man who, in 2004, viciously murdered a soldier home from Iraq on Christmas leave and wounded the man's brother, last week received a sentence of 40-years-to-life for the crimes, according to a spokesman for Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.
After having postponed the proceedings a number of times, Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Albert Tomei announced the sentence on September 27. Carrington, 24, of Martense Street, Brooklyn, was to have been sentenced three months ago, having been convicted on June 7 of second degree murder in the killing of U.S. Army Sgt. Terrence Balkinson, 25, and wounding, Lawrence Balkinson, 24, a civilian.
Carrington shot the soldier twice in the head, police said. Balkinson was later pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital. His brother received six gunshot wounds to the body, for which he was later treated at Kings County Hospital.
The shooting took place at 5:30 a.m. outside the Ambiance Restaurant, 9413 Avenue L. Carrington disappeared for two days and a giant manhunt took place, but was called off after the fugitive, accompanied by his lawyer, turned himself in at the 69th Precinct station house.
The victims had been celebrating at the popular Canarsie restaurant with friends when an argument, involving two women sitting nearby, took place, police said. One of the women telephoned Carrington, who arrived at the restaurant within a few minutes and pulled out a gun and started firing, first at the GI, and then the brother, just outside the entrance. Carrington then fled and was not seen until he turned himself in.
Sgt. Balkinson had been scheduled to returned to Iraq within a few days after the shooting. He came home on a surprise leave to his mother's house in East Flatbush two days after Christmas, 2004, after having served in the Middle East with the 1st Infantry Division for more than ten months.
An article in The New York Post this week indicated the victim's wife had traveled here a number of times to attend the sentencing, including the original on June 7. When that was postponed, she came here on August 9th, only to see another postponement. On August 29, she was here when another postponement was announced. She had had enough and spent enough money on airline costs and could not attend a sentence hearing on September 20, which was also delayed.
She was not on hand a week later when Carrington was finally sentenced. A spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney said his office will recompense her for all her travel expen-ses.
Sgt. Balkinson was buried with full military honors.