2004-04-30 / Community

Rockaway Teens Plead Not Guilty In November ‘A Train’ Murder

By Howard Schwach

Rockaway Teens Plead Not Guilty In November ‘A Train’ Murder

By Howard Schwach

Two Rockaway teenagers, who were accused of killing a young father during an attempted mugging at the Beach 36 Street Subway stop in November, pled not guilty to charges of murder, robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property in Queens Supreme Court on Wednesday.

As the victim’s mother screamed "liar," and "they killed my son," the judge accepted the plea of Raymond (Murder) Burney and Mark Ebanks, both of Far Rockaway.

Police say that Burney, 18, was the gunman who killed Shamel Smith, 21 during an attempted mugging on the elevated subway station. Ebanks reportedly acted as the lookout.

Smith, a Brooklyn native, had spent the night at a friend’s house in Rockaway and was heading to Brooklyn to pick up his two small children to see a movie when he was killed.

In statements released on Wednesday, Ebanks told detectives, "Murder says ‘give me your money.’ The train stops, the door opens and the man grabs Raymond. They start tussling back and forth. Then Raymond holds the gun directly at the guy and shoots once."

In his statement, Burney puts some of the blame on Ebanks. "Me and the kid started tussling, wrestling. Then Mark came back and hit the kid once or twice with his fist to get the kid off me. When the kid got off me, I pulled the trigger once and nothing happened. Then, I pulled it again and one shot went off."

Burney added that Ebanks "grabbed the gun and shot once or twice."

Two transit police officers heard the shots. At the scene, they arrested Ebanks and recovered the gun along with Smith’s gold chain, cell phone and keys.

Burney fled, but was picked up the next day by detectives led to a relative’s Brooklyn home by Ebanks.

Both Burney and Ebanks were ordered held without bail until their next court date, which was set for
July 6.

Both Rockaway men face 25 years to life if they are convicted of the charges.

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