Third Street drive-by shooter pleads guilty to felony charges

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Jeffrey Despeine, 21, Centereach
Jeffrey Despeines at his Feb. 14, 2013 arraignment. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The suspect police say was the gunman in the 2013 drive-by shooting of a Third Street home has pleaded guilty to felony charges.

Jeffrey Despeines, 24, of Centereach was one of four suspects arrested Feb. 13, 2013, after Riverhead Town police responded to shooting in Riverhead just before 9 p.m. after hearing gunfire.

Mr. Despeines had a spent magazine in his shirt pocket and was carrying a loaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun at the time of his arrest, prosecutors said. He was also accused of defacing the registration on the gun.

Mr. Despeines pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm, third-degree criminal possession of a defaced weapon and first-degree reckless endangerment before Suffolk County Judge Mark Cohen on May 21, online records show.

He will be sentenced to 3 1/2 years in state prison and 5 years of post release supervision as part of his deal with the judge, said District Attorney spokesperson Robert Clifford.

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

Three other man have already pleaded guilty in the incident, at least one of whom has already been sentenced.

Jasmine Parsons, 21, a former Riverhead woman who prosecutors say was the driver in the drive-by shooting, was sentenced in August 2013 to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

Jordan Harrell, 20, of Medford; and Eric Baldwin Jr., 20, of Bellport also pleaded guilty to felony charges. Details about their sentencing weren’t immediately available.

Ms. Parsons, Mr. Harrell and Mr. Baldwin were all charged because they acted “in concert” in the shooting, according to a grand jury indictment.

Mr. Despeines has been held on $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond bail in Suffolk County jail since his arraignment on March 1, 2013.

He is scheduled to be sentenced June 22.

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