Darryl Adams’ killer sentenced for March slay

Darryl Adams sits in a hospital chair after he was shot in July. Adams was then killed months later by two men, including Alexander Burgess, who was sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison.
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A 16-year-old was sentenced to 28 years in prison in Queens Criminal Court Friday in part for his involvement with the gunpoint murder of teenager Darryl Adams, who was killed in front of a South Jamaica housing project in March.

In court, Alexander Burgess looked straight ahead as Adams’ mother read a statement to him and Justice Dorothy Chin Brandt.

“You took a very special part of my life I can never get back,” Shanta Merritt, Adams’ mother, told Burgess in an emotional speech before the sentence was passed down.

Burgess’ fate came in two parts. He received 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in relation to Adams’ death, prosecutors said. He also received 12 years in prison for a separate robbery that occurred Feb. 25, according to prosecutors, where he and another man shot someone. The sentences will be served consecutively, according to Brandt.

On March 2 at 12:30 a.m., shots ran out in the South Jamaica houses, also known as 40 Projects, according to police. In response to the shots, an officer operating a surveillance camera trained the lens on a running figure, who then collapsed on a sidewalk. The figure was Adams, and soon afterward Burgess and 19-year-old Sean Barnhill appeared and one of them pumped another round in to Adams, according to surveillance footage. When officers arrived they observed Barnhill standing over Adams, gun in hand, the NYPD said. Barnhill’s case is ongoing.

Both were immediately arrested.

After his sentencing Burgess, handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit, was led out of the court by armed officers. He glanced at the room with a slight smirk on his face before the door closed after him.

Adams had another brush with gun violence just months prior to his murder. On an early June morning, he was shot in St. Albans along with Terrell Fountain, 18, who died.

At the time of Adams’ death months later, he was in the process of getting his GED and hoped to win a sports scholarship at SUNY, according to his mother. The teenager was involved in several basketball leagues, including the Police Athletic League. In the wake of the crime, several games were held at South Jamaica courts in his honor.

More than 1,000 people attended Adams’ funeral in an outpouring of support for Merritt and her family, and the gathering also morphed into a stand against gun violence that has long plagued the area.

Activist Erica Ford spoke at the funeral.

“This is not an accident that Darryl brought out all of southeast Queens,” she said at the March service. “This has to be the one.”

She has since held peace walks through the neighborhood, and Merritt has marched alongside other mothers who have lost children to gun violence, each of them bearing banners, signs or photographs of their late family members.

In court Friday, Merritt had to stop several times to compose herself while reading from a handwritten note, scrawled in blue pen on two torn-out sheets of notebook paper.

“I now write letters to my son Darryl and read them over and over,” she said, before reading one such letter before the court.

“Dear Darryl, how are you, my son?” she said. “I miss you so much. It’s not the same without you. Sometimes I don’t know what to do. One day I’m ready for the world, the next I can’t breathe.”

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 8:07 pm, December 19, 2012
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Reader feedback

A. Russell from Baltimore, MD says:
I hope oneday these young people must learn you cannot kill another human being with some repercussions. I pray the Adams/Merritt family find some peace now.
Dec. 21, 2012, 9:24 am
Imme from Queens says:
Anyway the media don't know what they are talking about he was not sentenced to 20 nothing years a little less and I was there and the way I took his body jestures were like he was looking around in the crowd not to act as if he was a bad guy but he looked as if he was looking for his mom which came late and was not able to see him yes he did smerk but he knew no one could do anything ex specially being there was about four court officers around him he kept moving his fingers and never looked at Darryl's mom not to mention he was suppose to get sentence before that day but he denied to get on the bus three times before this there was not one soul in the court for him not even the street team he ran with but then again he was the reason y alot of them got arrested caz he's the snitch that's y he only got 16 yrs because he co operated with the law what was a 16 yr old to do smh everyone wants to be someone to fear and no one to deal with the stuff that comes next then his mom talks about him. Having a baby did u know it son is a killer she needs to go to jail for raising a killer u are responsible for your child's actions
Dec. 27, 2012, 12:04 am
Tina from Queens says:
It's a shame because nobody wins both parents lost a child, Yes the killers mom can go and see him but everyone's life has been affect. All this senseless killing has to stop.
Jan. 8, 2013, 2:08 pm
flavor from queens says:
I'm really curious to find out where they got "Real ni---syndrome" from. I found something out about this conversation on one of his friends facebook about how killing Darryl Adams was a "real ni---" who killed him. This was on Darryl Adams closest friends facebook. When this other person bragged about how killing him was a "real ni---"his closest friend didn't even respond to it. Instead someone came out with shirts saying "real ni---syndrome". What's up with that? It looks like this person is trying to make a name for himself on Darryl Adams death. So sad. His own friends.
Feb. 2, 2013, 5:49 am
flavor from queens says:
I Find it funny and quiet in here since that last text above me. Ha. Punks!! Most of you are on surveillance and you all will be knocked one by one. Hahaha
Feb. 19, 2013, 6:11 pm
taee from 40 says:
Girl u dont know wtf u tlkn bout that clothing line been out for years in our neighborhood ..... all darryl friends love him n would neva violate we all grew up together n thats how i kno "da syndrome " been out .... R.I.P DARRYL I LOVE U N MISS U BRO
April 12, 2013, 7:17 am
taee from 40 says:
Like if u dont kno wat u tlkn bout stfu simple
April 12, 2013, 7:21 am
ok from jamaica says:
Useless ——s!!!!! Lmao
July 14, 2013, 6:34 pm
flavor from jamaica says:
@ taee lmao. How you know who I am or what I am? You stfu loser. Still living in the projects with your ugly self. Get it together!! You all condone each other. Thats why you still in the projects cause you have nobody to help you get it. Your nothing but trash just like the rest of your friends. LMAO. Will be laughing when you all get locked up. LMAO!!!! Did you get your foodstamps??? Oh yea There will be no foodstamps for yall after Sept 30,2013. What are you going to do? Eat each other?? LMAO LALALALALA!!!!!
July 31, 2013, 4:28 pm
stfu from Texas says:
The bloods need to die!!!!!
Aug. 2, 2013, 10:26 pm
stfu from jamaica says:
You call that clothing line? LMAO!! LALALALALALALALALA
Aug. 4, 2013, 12:25 pm
none of yours from NYC says:
@taee from 40, you need to get a better education. Your grammer sucks. Like if you dont know how to write, dont write at all. Dummy. Piece of crap. Your a joke and your nothing to society. Thats why the government hates people like you. You will probably be the next Trayvon Martin case someday. Peace out!!!
Aug. 8, 2013, 11:29 am
none of yours from NYC says:
@taee from 40 says "n would neva violate". You violating society with your ugly face. You all grew up together and you will die together. Lowlife. You racist bi**h!!
Aug. 8, 2013, 11:36 am
taye from st. albans says:
You all need to stfu!!!!!!!!
Aug. 21, 2013, 8:13 pm
Free my real —— from Getto says:
Free err body ju heard
See my real ni*** one day boy
Yall be back G ^

Snow grimmy
So wavy
Oct. 4, 2014, 1:07 am
deadarm from south Jamaica suphtin blvd says:
R.i.p.darryl smh miss yu bro forget the negativity remember ur good yu bro no ones real any more
Jan. 18, 2015, 4:49 pm
Keeping it REAL from Around the way... says:
Alexander Burgess a.k.a. (Alex) mom's is or was a C.O. on Riker.... WorD????
Bet yall didn't know that! ! !
Dec. 30, 2015, 8:52 am
Keeping it Real... from From around the way... says:
No wonder why he only got 28 yrs. He should have gotten LIFE.
Him & Sean Barnhill both.
Dec. 30, 2015, 9:01 am

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