Correction Officer Slay Suspect Formally Charged
Police made an arrest in the shocking murder of Correction Officer Alastasia Bryan last week. Keon Richmond was charged with second-degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal use of a firearm.
The 25-year-old Rikers Island rookie - Bryan was only one week on the job - was sitting in her car on Avenue L and East 73rd Street in Georgetown after visiting family on December 4, 2016, when, according to police, Richmond, 35, of Kensington, stealthily appeared by the driver’s door and pumped five bullets through the glass, killing Bryan in her seat.
After shooting Bryan, Richmond, the victim’s exboyfriend, fled the scene in a Hyundai Elantra, which had license plates registered to his current girlfriend, Shirley Mejia, 24, of Paterson, New Jersey. She was charged with hindering prosecution, as announced by Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez Wednesday.
It is alleged that two days after the murder, the co-defendant paid to have Richmond’s car stored at a mechanic’s shop in New Jersey. Richmond removed the license plates.
Cell site records and surveillance video placed Richmond, who was living in the United States illegally, at the scene of the homicide and captured his flight to New Jersey after the shooting, according to the Acting DA. He was picked up by a fugitive task force while hiding from police. Richmond was found in a friend’s closet in a house on East 58th Street.
Bryan’s mom told the media that trouble was brewing between Richmond - whose previous threats put him on police radar - and her daughter. It is believed that Bryan’s recent demand of Richmond that he return a vehicle he was tooling around town in - but owned by Bryan - set him off with murderous intentions.
Richmond was busted in the past for violence against other ex-girlfriends, including torching one of their cars. He was an early suspect in Bryan’s murder, having stalked and threatened her multiple times in 2015 while she was working as a security guard at Kingsborough Community College.
Although arrested on December 14, 2016, Richmond was only charged for previous crimes perpetrated against the ex-girlfriends and their property. While in custody, the investigation into Bryan’s slaying continued, with Richmond being grilled by investigators.
Prior to his latest arrest - for Bryan’s murder - Richmond sported a long rap sheet including an arrest by an alert cop and his release the next day by a Queens judge in early November. Ironically, this release took place just a month before Richmond allegedly murdered Bryan. This arrest was for possession of stolen credit cards and was made when Richmond was spotted in Bryan’s car. Richmond was parked in Resorts World Casino’s parking lot in Queens. At the time, Richmond was also a suspect in an October vehicle arson case - the car belonging to another ex-girlfriend.
Although there has been no report that police have recovered the murder weapon, investigators felt confident enough to arrest Richmond again on Thursday, February 9th in the Bryan case.
“Officer Alastasia Bryan never even had a chance to defend herself from this cowardly defendant, who allegedly ambushed her in a deliberate, cold-blooded and calculated shooting,” stated Gonzalez. “We now intend to hold him and his current girlfriend accountable for their alleged roles in this case as we seek justice for Officer Bryan’s heartbroken family and friends.”