Darryl Adams’ killer gets 25 years in prison

Darryl Adams was shot and killed in 2012.
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A mother who watched her 18-year-old son gunned down on surveillance video last year as he ran through the South Jamaica Houses trying to escape his cold-blooded killers told her son’s shooter at his sentencing earlier Tuesday she hoped he would spend the rest of his life in prison.

“I can’t believe I watched my son Darryl run for his life and die on film,” Shanta Merritt said in a Queens courtroom as Sean Barnhill, 20, stood by stoically. “Sean, you stole my son Darryl from me and his family and for that I hope you rot in jail for the rest of your life.”

State Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin gave Barnhill 25 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in February to shooting Darryl Adams last March. Barnhill declined to speak at his sentencing.

In the early morning hours of March 2, 2012, NYPD surveillance video caught Adams running through the NYCHA houses, also known as the 40 Houses, as two young men later identified as Barnhill and his accomplice, 16-year-old Alexander Burgess, slowly stalked him from behind.

The camera lost sight Adams as he ran behind a building, but another view picked him up as he stumbled across a walkway and fell to the ground, his legs still kicking. A moment later the two young men walked by and Barnhill pulled out a gun and fired at Adams before causally walking away.

In a matter of seconds an undercover police car sped into frame and apprehended the two suspects.

In December, Brandt sentenced Burgess to 16 years in prison for his role in Adams’ death after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Burgess also received 12 years for an unrelated robbery during which prosecutors said he and an accomplice shot someone.

Adams’ friends and family gathered earlier this month at the spot where his life was cut short to release balloons and light candles in his memory.

As she spoke to Barnhill in court Tuesday, Merritt said nothing would ever bring her son back, but she wanted the killer to know the pain he had caused.

“I want you, Sean, to know I watched you kill my son Darryl and skip away like it was nothing to you,” she said. “For murdering Darryl you should be getting what you gave my son and that’s life.”

Merritt wept loudly as the judge read the sentence and clapped as Barnhill was led out of the courtroom. At that point he turned to Merritt and the rest of Adams’ family and winked before leaving the courtroom.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Posted 3:54 pm, March 19, 2013
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Reader feedback

darrylgang from 40 says:
He winked his eye at his ugly ass mother not once did he look at us my family my mother my brothers or all of Darryl friends that filled up the court room he came out wearing specks and a played out sweatsuit don't forget his hand was rapped up I guess he already getting his ass wooped his father sat by my brother crying like —— out of here he wanted to be down be in a gang be that —— but look bow none of ya boys was there not even one so he did all that to be sitting on someone's penis for 25years and u already know his man's ain't sending no commissary and by the looks of his family they ain't either smh and i dont know why that white man that wrote this paper lie and say he winked his eye at us caz he know damned well we was not even on the same side of his family (the way he winked his eye) so he need to stop it i guess he have to make the story sell fake ass Justin beiber —— u too RIP BABY BRO DARRYLGANG4LIFE
March 20, 2013, 8:37 pm
Akeem Smith from Harlem says:
Darryl was my brother and he was always a clown and knew how to throw the hands. But I hope that son of a b**** dies in jail and take that dick for 25 years. Darryl Lives Forever ! B.I.P Darryl
March 23, 2013, 12:26 pm
jessbee from jamaica says:
to darrylgang - how the hell do you know the write was white? wow racist much - you look like the kind to always be playing the race card no matter what -
maybe to writer it did seem like he did, perhaps he was sitting somewhere else and saw it as an another perspective...sorry if you cannot understand correct grammar - as i sure as hell could hardly understand your horrible black talk..dont like that way i said right? so next to you going to say white to be racist - think - and no i am not white..i am biracial black and white.
March 27, 2013, 9:12 pm
me from 40 says:
Jessbee can u understand this —— you I can say whatever I want racist call me what ever u want u mut lol.... U don't even know what's going on do mind ur business o i get it i talked about ur dad or relative fu(k the both of y'all my comment is not to stop racism ots to tell what really happened the day MY BROTHERS KILLER sentence so fu(k what u talking about and if ur friend didn't lie i wouldn't be dissing his ass talk black wtf???? Anyway im talking mad mad at everybody who got something to say n dont know —— jessbee kiss my black a**
April 12, 2013, 6:44 am
maria from queens says:
I wonder why Barnhill didn't get life. Who cares about this black and white s***. He could of been blue or green Or red like the bloods. What matters is, that, justice has been served. It should be a clear message to you little demons who want to take someone's life. You take a life, you get LIFE!!
June 25, 2013, 5:05 am
none of your biz from jamaica says:
This is so sad. He didnt deserve to go that way but what makes me sick are his friends who were saying "free bar". You disgust me. You are all jealous, envious little demons who want to take whats not yours. I hate you! I wish you all death because that is what you all deserve. Pieces of s***!
July 13, 2013, 9:10 pm
why from queens says:
I hate the south jamaica houses and the people who live there. You are sneaky and envious of others and want to take whats not yours. Now his friends want to make a name for themselves by rapping songs about him. Your pathetic! You all should die and rot in hell! You do not own those projects and I hope you all get busted for shooting out the windows and creating havic in good peoples lives. I hate and despise you because you hurt my son but you didnt take his life you pieces of s***. I hope NYPD is all over you!!
July 13, 2013, 9:24 pm
why from queens says:
NYPD if you read this, please do not let these little bastards get away with what they are doing over there at the south jamaica houses. Please keep your eyes open and investigate whats going on there. They sell drugs and steal from others. They are mentally sick and the adults condone and encourage the young ones to do these evil acts. They shoot out the windows and they need to be stopped because they deserve to be behind bars and not roaming freely in our society. Please NYPD stop them and catch them and take them off our streets!!!!
July 13, 2013, 9:31 pm
jessbee from jamaica says:
@me from the 40 dirdiest projects. You ugly. You shouldnt walk outside with your mug. Your ugly as* mug is a crime. Lmao. Awwww you mad!! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Your nothin but a black bumb ghetto as* bytch. You got that? Ghetto!!!! Hahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahaha. Stfu!!!!!
Aug. 21, 2013, 8:26 pm
jessbee from jamaica says:
Black talk! Haaahaaahaaahaaahaaahaaahaahaahaahaa.Haahaahaahaahaa. Get it together losers!! Wannabe killers. Haahaaahaaahaaahaaahaaahaaahaaa. @me from ghetto as* 40 projects. Haahaahaahaa. Ghetto and livin in the ghetto. Do you know what job interview means? Haaahaaahaahaaahaaahaaahaaahaaahaaa. H.S. Diploma? Haaahaaahaaahaaa. Your ancestors left their homeland because they were being killed by your own black people. So they became the white mans slaves. Thats what america did to your ancestors. Live and laugh. No education. Haaaaaaaaaaaa
Aug. 21, 2013, 8:35 pm
SB from Queens says:
No one will ever understand senseless killing.... Just like D.A.'s family lost a son, do did S.B.'s family... He was not raised in NYCH; he came from a middle class; hardworking family and was afforded every opportunity there was and then some.... Some may say he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth but was trying to fit in with the crowd. How does something like this happen? That question can only be answered by the perp himself. At the end of the day what still remains is our young men will quickly gun down and kill one another; be sent to prison and NEVER rise above what is expected of them by the judicial system. Very sad.... I pray for healing for both families and as for the perp he has 25 years to make amends with himself as well as with his creator!!! To God Be the Glory!!!!
March 1, 2014, 6:32 pm
Free SB from Outheanypd says:
Free the man SB
April 11, 2014, 1:31 am
sbgangforlife from no neighborhood says:
Free my man sb yall all being critics —— out here sbgangforlifeyaheard love u —— nd we miss out here rip to darryl even do i didnt kno him.
June 11, 2014, 8:18 pm
Kai from Jamaica Queens says:
I knew Darrell as a young man he was very polite good evening ms k or can i help u carry those bags. He would talk about school etc. He would come by on guy r brewer n and asked me if I need anything from the store. Nice himble young man. I knew his aunt n fam. This punk whp took his life senseless should have gotten life. He out at 25 yrs wow. Where is the justice
April 5, 2016, 10:57 pm
40pkkk from Sutphin says:
Darryl wanted to play that gang role and u blame the shooter —— please!!!!
Aug. 11, 2016, 11:50 am

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