Two plead guilty in February drive-by shooting

06/21/2013 2:00 PM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOS | Eric Baldwin Jr (left) and Jordan Harrell are led to their arraignment in Riverhead Town Justice court in February. Both men have pleaded guilty to the charges against them.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOS | Eric Baldwin Jr (left) and Jordan Harrell are led to their arraignment in Riverhead Town Justice court in February. Both men have pleaded guilty to the charges against them.

Two of the four people charged in a February drive-by shooting in Riverhead have pleaded guilty, according to Suffolk County court records.

Eric Baldwin Jr., 18, of Bellport and Jordan Harrell, 18, of Medford — who authorities say were not the driver or shooter in the incident — were in the car allegedly used in the drive-by when it was pulled over moments after the shooting. Both were charged with first-degree reckless endangerment for acting “in concert” to shoot up the house.

Mr. Baldwin was also charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon after police found he was carrying brass knuckles.

He pleaded guilty to both the felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor weapons possession charges against him before Judge William Condon in county criminal court Thursday, online records show. The top charge, first-degree reckless endangerment, is a class “D” felony that carries a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison.

Mr. Harrell had pleaded guilty in March to a reckless endangerment charge, court officials said.

Additional information about the two pleas was not immediately available.

The alleged driver in the shooting, former Riverhead resident Jasmine Parsons, 19, now of Mastic, still faces the first-degree reckless endangerment charge against her.

The man authorities say shot a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun at the home on Third Street, Jeffrey Despeines, 21, of Centereach, also faces three felony charges in the incident.

Both Ms. Parsons and Mr. Despeines have pleaded not guilty.

Riverhead Town police responded to the house on Third Street just before 9 p.m. on Feb. 13 after hearing gunfire.

A nearby officer on patrol said he saw a Ford Taurus leaving the scene of the shooting and trailed the car before pulling it over, arresting the group on nearby Peconic Avenue, police said.

Authorities said they found spent shell casings on the floor of the car, which were later matched to “at least” one bullet dug from the house, prosecutors said. Police also discovered Mr. Despeines had a spent magazine in his shirt pocket at the time of his arrest and was carrying a loaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun, prosecutors said.

Authorities also accuse Mr. Despeines of defacing the registration on the gun.

Though seven bullets ripped through siding and into the living room and bedroom of two families living in the house, none of the people inside the house at the time of the shooting were injured.

Mr. Baldwin is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 15, while Mr. Harrell has a sentencing date set for July 15, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Ms. Parsons is due in court next Wednesday, court records show. Mr. Despeines is due in court on July 12.

psquire@timesreview.com