By Kevin Deutsch
A reputed high-ranking member of the notorious Bloods set known as “Sex, Money, Murder” was sentenced Tuesday to 23 years to life in prison for murdering a Morissania man.
Erin Hall, 42, of 1950 Andrews Avenue, fatally shot Felix De La Cruz,who challenged Hall with taunts of “do it, do it,” before Hall shot him in the head on April 15, 2015, according to eyewitness testimony at Hall’s trial.
Cruz Jr., 23, had been standing in front of 2260 Washington Avenue when Hall first exchanged words with him, prosecutors said. Hall walked away and returned with a gun drawn. After exchanging words with the victim again, Hall fired a shot at de la Cruz and missed, authorities said.
He then moved closer and shot de la Cruz in the back of his head, according to prosecutors. The victim died of his wound the following day.
“The defendant–who did not know the victim–shot and killed him just because a few words were exchanged,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark. “The defendant will now spend many years behind bars for this senseless violence. ”
The first time Hall was prosecuted, the case ended in a mistrial.
The second time around, it took jurors more than a week to reach a verdict.
Prosecutors likely wouldn’t have moved forward with the case without the cooperation of the witness, who was de La Cruz’s friend. He took the stand in Bronx Supreme Court Justice James McCarty’s courtroom, fully aware that Hall’s alleged cohorts in Sex, Money, Murder might retaliate.
“If you see something, you don’t talk,” the witness told jurors, characterizing the no-snitching credo that pervades gang-plagued sections of the Bronx.
He said of the social stigma attached to police cooperation: “People look at you funny. They can’t trust you anymore.”
Hall will also serve a concurrent 15 year sentence for weapon possession, followed be five years post-release supervision.