By Sasha Gonzales email@example.com
A Bronx man responsible for the killing of an ex-con turned honor roll student was sentenced to 21 years in prison for manslaughter Wednesday, authorities said.
Elijah Moody, 24, of 1595 Odell Street, fatally shot Bronx resident Vivian Connell, 40, in his back in August 2016 as the father and standout college student tried to run from a group of robbers led by Moody, prosecutors said.
Connell—who turned his life around following a series of arrests and a 13-year prison stint for attempted murder—was carrying his rent money at the time, and had planned to pick up a money order before Moody pulled a gun on him.
As a wounded Connell lay on the ground, Moody and his cohorts rifled through his pockets and stole the money, authorities said.
Connell was taken to Jacobi Medical Center and died shortly after. Moody was arrested several days later, authorities said.
Before his death, Connell had been on the verge of graduating from the College of New Rochelle with a degree in psychology, according to news reports. An honor roll student, he was also raising a little girl.
“The defendant shot and killed the victim, who leaves behind a 6-year-old-daughter,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.
Moody pleaded guilty in January as part of a plea deal that allowed him to avoid a potential conviction for murder, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life.
The cases against the other defendants are still pending.
Connell also received a three and a half year sentence Wednesday for slashing the face of a correction officer on Rikers Island in July 2018, prosecutors said. The sentences will run concurrently.