2006-05-05 / Community

Second Man Sentenced In 'A' Train Slaying

By Brian Magoolaghan

A Far Rockaway man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the robbery and killing of a young man - the father of two children - on a subway platform in Edgemere in 2003.

Mark Ebanks, 21, of 26-46 Far Rockaway Boulevard pleaded guilty to first degree robbery in July 2005 and was sentenced Wednesday in Queens

Supreme Court by Justice Robert C. Hanophy.

"The lengthy prison sentence imposed by the court today is just punishment for a terrible and senseless crime in which [Ebanks] showed no respect for human life," Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a written statement. "He has now been held responsible for his actions."

On the day after Thanksgiving 2003, Ebanks and his accomplice, Raymond Burney, now 22, spotted their victim, 21-year-old Shamel Garrett, on a Far Rockaway A Train.

Garrett, the father of two young children who was visiting friends in Rockaway, was wearing jewelry that the lurking predators were determined to steal.

Apparently sensing that he was in danger, Garrett exited the train at the Beach 36 Street station, but Ebanks and Burney followed. They pounced on Garrett and tried to strip him of his jewelry. Ebanks pulled a .38 caliber and a struggle ensued. Burney grabbed the gun and fired one shot into Garrett's back, killing him.

Two plainclothes NYPD Transit officers who were at the Beach 36 Street station stopped Ebanks as he tried to flee. The gold chain, broken in the struggle, was stuffed in his pants pocket. Burney managed to get away, injuring the officers in the process, but was later captured.

"The police officers who were on patrol in plainclothes acted with bravery and professionalism and their outstanding performance upholds the proud tradition of New York's Finest," said Brown.

Burney, of 394 Beach 25 Street, pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter earlier this year and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Garrett's mother, Sandra, was not available to speak to The Wave at press time.

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