A city man accused of shooting and killing a teenager he didn’t know admitted to the killing Tuesday.
Raquan Banks, 23, pleaded guilty in Schenectady County Court to one count of first-degree manslaughter.
In exchange for his plea, he is to get a sentence of 20 to 24 years in prison. The judge is to make the final determination at Banks’ July sentencing.
Banks admitted to firing at a group of individuals on Becker Street the night of May 31, 2008, intending to seriously injure one, prosecutor Philip Mueller said.
Banks fired only once, hitting 18-year-old Foday Kpoto in the head and killing him.
Mueller cited the work of city police, state police and the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team in the case. Mueller, though, particularly singled out the efforts of city police Det. Thomas Adach in solving a nearly impossible case.
The case started with little, but eventually led to the killer.
“They built this case really piece by piece over several years,” Meuller said, “and really it is a credit to Tom Adach’s dedication.”
Banks was arrested in August 2011. He was later indicted on murder charges and prosecutors intended to prosecute the case as a murder, Mueller said. A co-defendant was also charged, but later pleaded guilty to a lesser count.
Mueller said the details could have also could have resulted a conviction on manslaughter — intending to seriously injure and then causing a death. Banks fired only a single shot at a distance of about 30 feet, with a small-caliber weapon, at night with the group fleeing. Banks also fired from inside a stopped car in which he was the passenger.
A trained marksman would have had trouble hitting a target in those circumstances, Mueller said. There was no evidence Banks had firearms training.
A murder conviction would bring a possible maximum sentence of 25 years to life. A first-degree manslaughter conviction carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.
As far as why Banks fired, Banks didn’t say in court, Mueller said.
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Categories: Schenectady County