MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - A New Jersey man has been arraigned on a murder charge for his role in the shooting death of a Mount Vernon man.
Acting Westchester County District Attorney James McCarty announced n Wednesday that, following more than six months of investigation, Alvin Smothers, of Bloomfield, N.J., was charged with felony counts of second-degree murder and robbery for the shooting death of an innocent bystander in Mount Vernon.
Shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 last year, Smothers, 37, met with an undercover New York City Police Department officer with the intent of selling two illegal handguns. According to McCarty, the officer "was driving in an undercover vehicle and a third individual, known to the officer as a gun seller, was present in the front passenger seat.”
Smothers entered the rear passenger side of the car and the three drove around in the area of Beekman and South Fulton Avenue, discussing the sale.
Ten minutes later, Smothers allegedly pulled out what appeared to be a handgun, directed it toward the officer driving and demanded the purchase money. The officer complied, and Smothers exited the undercover vehicle.
According to McCarty, the undercover police officer then exited the vehicle, at which point Smothers pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the officer, who then fired his weapon at the defendant. At the same time, the victim, who was walking on the sidewalk, was struck in the toros and back by bullets fired by the officer.
Additionally, Jeffrey Aristy, described as “the gun seller,” has been charged with a 29-count indictment that includes 25 charges related to illegal gun sales.
Smothers pleaded not guilty to the charges in Westchester County Court. He is due back in court on Wednesday, April 20, where he will face a minimum term of 15-years in prison.