SCHENECTADY — The convicted hitman and driver in the 2016 scheme to kill Schenectady resident Charles Dembrosky each received maximum sentences Monday.
Judge Matthew Sypniewski, visibly upset as he delivered terms, called the cases against Joevany Luna and Kyshaan Moore perhaps the strongest circumstantial case he'd presided over. Sypniewski then handed down the longest possible sentence to the convicted hitman, Luna, of life in prison without parole. He gave the convicted driver, Moore, 25 years to life, the longest term the judge could give him.
"These two defendants drove, I don’t know how many hundreds of miles, for one purpose, and that was just to kill somebody in cold blood. Like assassins," Sypniewski told the defendants. "I’ve never seen that. And that’s why assassins have always been a particularly despised breed of individual throughout history... because it’s a despicable form of human being, or breed of individual. I wouldn’t call them a human being."
The two were convicted in May of murder in the Nov. 19, 2016 of Dembrosky, 49, outside Dembrosky's Bellevue home. Luna, 43, and Moore, 26, are both from Delaware. Luna was convicted of first-degree murder, Moore of second-degree murder.
Moore drove Luna to Schenectady so Luna could kill Dembrosky, prosecutors contended. Luna traveled to Schenectady earlier on a "dry run," prosecutors said.
Prosecutors proved their case through a blend of technology and more conventional police work. Evidence from cellphone tower records, license plate readers, street surveillance cameras and wire taps provided a digital record of the crime being planned and executed. The suspects' actions as police closed in also helped convict them.
Backing the scheme, prosecutors argued, was Schenectady resident Tarchand Lall, a man who had a life insurance policy on Dembrosky and a man who faced significant financial problems. Lall has yet to be tried. His trial is expected by the end of the year.
Sypniewski handed down the sentences after first hearing from attorneys and three members of Dembrosky's family.
Dembrosky's son Jake asked the judge for the toughest sentences possible for the men.
“I believe that you’re both dangerous to society, and your honor, I believe that you should do everything in your power to make sure these men are never free again in America,” Jake Dembrosky told the court.
Moore's attorney, Michael Mansion, introduced two motions to reverse the conviction against his client, both of which were rejected by Judge Sypniewski.
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Moore spoke on his own behalf. He offered his sympathies to the victim's family, but maintained his own innocence. He then pleaded for sympathy as a father and "victim of the system."
“I send my deepest regards to the victim’s family," Moore said while reading a prepared statement written on loose leaf paper. "A victim of the system, and again, my regards to the victim’s family, but who will pray for my family, for my child?”
Luna's attorney, Mark Juda, said his client "maintained his innocence" throughout the process. Luna declined to offer a statement himself.