Jakwan Keller charged with murder of Dejah JoynerMINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Hempstead man was arraigned this morning for the October shooting death of 12-year-old Dejah Joyner, who was shot in her home on Dartmouth Street in Hempstead.
Jakwan Keller, 20, was arraigned today before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz on charges of: • Two counts of Murder in the 2nd Degree (an A-I felony)• Two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree (a C violent felony)
The defendant was remanded and is due back in court on March 7. He faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the top count.
“Dejah Joyner’s life was tragically and violently cut short because of the alleged actions of this defendant, who’s charged with firing a shot into her home and striking the young girl while she was sitting in her living room,” DA Singas said. “Dejah’s death was a tragedy for her family and the Hempstead community, and the entire law enforcement community in Nassau County is working to make sure the killer is brought to justice.”
DA Singas said that on Oct. 16 at approximately 5 p.m. the defendant was outside a Dartmouth Street home in a vehicle when he allegedly fired a single shot into the building. Joyner, who was in her living room, was struck in the head with a bullet and taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The victim was pronounced dead on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola.
The defendant was arrested on Jan. 10 at approximately 9:30 a.m. in Hempstead by members of the Nassau County Police Department with assistance from members of the Hempstead Village Police Department.
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Nickerson of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting the case. Keller is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.