March 19, 2020
By Matt Spillane, LoHud
A Bloods gang member has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting two people outside a Mount Vernon bar in 2016, then plotting to kill a woman who witnessed the attack, officials said.
Matthew Brown was sentenced in Westchester County Court on March 10 by County Court Judge Anne Minihan, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office said. The 35-year-old resident of Wilmington, Delaware, pleaded guilty on Feb. 6 to charges stemming from the case.
The case against Brown began on Dec. 10, 2016, outside Garden Bar at 766 S. Fifth Ave. in Mount Vernon. Around 1:45 a.m., G-Shine Bloods leader Jason Garcia, known as Mecca-J and the highest-ranking member of the Westchester set of the Bloods gang, told Brown to shoot someone who owed Garcia money for marijuana, officials said.
Brown was accused of shooting the person in the chest and neck, as well as hitting a bystander in the head. Both victims survived the shooting, which was captured on surveillance video.
Matthew Brown, a resident of Wilmington, Delaware, was sentenced to prison on March 10, 2020, for a Mount Vernon shooting and a plan to kill a witness.
Matthew Brown, a resident of Wilmington, Delaware, was sentenced to prison on March 10, 2020, for a Mount Vernon shooting and a plan to kill a witness. (Photo: Westchester County District Attorney’s Office)
Brown and Garcia were arrested. Fellow gang member Damien Rickard of Elmsford, and two of Garcia’s girlfriends, Ossining resident Laquanna Kershaw and Yonkers resident Cassaundra Dunham, were then accused of planning to kill a woman who saw the Mount Vernon shooting.
In the shooting, Brown pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault. For the witness scheme, he pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy. They are all felonies.
Kershaw pleaded guilty on Feb. 11 to first-degree conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25.
In the witness conspiracy, cases are pending against Garcia, Rickard and Dunham.
On Jan. 31, a jury convicted Garcia of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies, in the shooting case.
Garcia, a 36-year-old Mount Vernon resident, is scheduled to be sentenced on March 24.
Brown, Garcia, Rickard, Kershaw and Dunham are all being held at the Westchester County jail in Valhalla.
Matt Spillane covers breaking news throughout the Lower Hudson Valley. Click here for his latest stories. Follow him on Twitter @MattSpillane. Check out our latest subscription offers here.