A city correction officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the fatal shooting of his former girlfriend, the Queens district attorney said.
Christopher “Noel” Clavell, 48, of Staten Island, received the sentence for his conviction in the August 2000 killing of Barbara Perez, 32, the mother of his then-2-year-old child, DA Richard Brown said last Thursday.
According to trial testimony, Perez was an assistant manager at The Power Factory, a gym, at 71-13 60th Lane in Ridgewood. On the morning of Aug. 11, 2000, at around 7:15 a.m., a gym member found Perez’s body on the floor at the back of the gym. She had been shot eight times in the head and once in the chest.
Testimony also revealed that Perez and Clavell had been in a disagreement about child support payments for their son. A few months before the killing, the commissioner of the Department ofSocial Services had begun a proceeding in Family Court for child support, which angered Clavell, according to the DA.
Perez reportedly told family and friends that Clavell had said he would sooner kill her than give her any money.
Clavell had been employed as a correction officer at Rikers Island at the time of the murder. He could not be arrested initially because of a lack of evidence, according to the DA.
A spokeswoman for the DA’s office said Friday that a change in the law allowed for certain incriminating statements to be presented to a grand jury, leading to Clavell’s arrest in April 2011. He was held without bail and then convicted of second-degree murder June 6 in Queens Supreme Court.
He could have received life in prison.
“The defendant has now been punished for fatally shooting the mother of his young child,” Brown said in a statement. “He may have evaded the law for nearly 13 years, but now justice has finally been achieved. I only hope that this sentence brings a measure of solace to her family.”
Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by e-mail at bfortis@cn
©2013 Community News Group
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