A Trinidadian who was arrested on suspicion of murder in New York has been charged with arson over another incident. But the stark reality is that he is facing imminent deportation to Trinidad.
Keon Richmond, 33, the ex-boyfriend of a slain correction officer was charged with arson on Thursday, while detectives search for evidence linking him to Alastasia Bryan’s cold-blooded murder.
Richmond was ordered held without bail and sent to Rikers Island after he was arraigned in Brooklyn on charges he torched an ex-girlfriend’s car, the New York Daily News reported.
Prosecutors initially asked for bail to be set at $750,000, noting the Trinidadian native was undocumented and on the verge of being deported.
“This defendant is facing five to 15 years in prison, he is undocumented, a final order of deportation was issued. There’s a history of violating orders of protection, there are prior domestic violence cases,” said Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaminsky, adding that he was also a suspect in Bryan’s murder.
Richmond’s defense attorney Gregory Watts denies that his client has a pending immigration case.
“Immigration notified us that he is not in removal proceedings,” said Watts.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Gary decided to take no chances.
“The state of his immigration status is murky at best … he should be remanded as long as he’s deportable,” said Gary.
Watts requested the judge to place Richmond into custody in a Westchester County facility and not at Rikers — where Bryan worked before she was shot execution-style in her car December 4.
The judge denied Watts application and ordered protective custody and medical attention for Richmond.
Police say he set fire to the 26-year-old woman’s 2013 Nissan Maxima in East New York on October 13.
Richmond subjected that ex-girlfriend to a series of horrors starting in February, when he broke into her Queens home, cut up her clothing and bleached the pieces, according to a criminal complaint.
On October 18, he broke in again, trashing her TV, cutting several power cords, and stealing her headboard and nightstands, cops said.
The next day, he called her and told her, “If I get arrested you better pray,” according to the complaint.
Police arrested Richmond on November 2, as he sat in a BMW belonging to Department of Correction officer Bryan, who had also been his girlfriend. She had reported the car stolen.
Richmond allegedly had 51 forged credit cards in his pocket. He was released the next day on $2,000 cash bail.
Detectives haven’t stopped searching for evidence connecting him to Bryan’s brutal murder.
The 25-year-old rookie correction officer was fatally shot as she made a phone call in her car at East 73rd St. and Avenue L.
The gunman, sitting in a car nearby, got out, approached her car and fired five times before fleeing with another man.
A security video captured Bryan’s killer pumping five bullets into her.
Bryan was struck in the head and torso and pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said she was getting ready to drive to work.
Police nabbed Richmond about 1 p.m. Wednesday as he tried to hide in a closet at the apartment of a friend on East 58th St. in Flatbush, Brooklyn, sources said.
Homicide detectives “still have a little more work to do” before he can be charged with Bryan’s murder, a police source said.
Bryan was hired in June and assigned to Rikers Island last month. She had minimal contact with inmates, sources said. Richmond has 31 prior arrests and has in the past threatened to kill Bryan, sources said.
Last year, while Bryan was working as a security guard at Kingsborough Community College, she told police that Richmond tried to run her off the road and two days later threatened to shoot up her home, sources said. The two broke up recently, sources said, and Richmond refused to return to Bryan the BMW she had leased for him.
That argument sparked tensions that detectives believe lead to her slaying. It was unclear how long the two had dated.
Bryan’s funeral Tuesday drew hundreds of mourners to a Brooklyn church to pay their respects.
Jail workers from as far away as Massachusetts packed into the church alongside dozens of city correction officers and cops.
Bryan was posted in the Anna M. Kross Center at the jail complex, where she did administrative work. She had only been on the job a month after graduating a month ago from the city Correction Academy.
Bryan was still in training and did not carry a handgun, officials said.