Putnam County Man Receives 20-Year Sentence For Coercion And Enticement Of Multiple Minors To Engage In Illegal Sexual Activity
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DENFIELD JOSEPH and KEVIN DELVALLE were sentenced to 30 years in prison and 35 years in prison, respectively, for their 2010 murder of Donnell Harris in the Bronx. JOSEPH and DELVALLE previously pled guilty. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero imposed the sentences.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Almost twelve years ago, Denfield Joseph and Kevin Delvalle stabbed and strangled Donnell Harris to death in an act of senseless brutality. Investigators and career prosecutors in my Office worked tirelessly to find and hold accountable the perpetrators of this chilling crime. This prosecution and today’s sentences show our commitment to pursuing justice for all victims of gang and drug-related violence.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment, court filings, and statements made in Court:
Harris’s murder arose out of JOSEPH and DELVALLE’s involvement in gang-related narcotics trafficking in 2009 and 2010. JOSEPH and DELVALLE were Bloods gang members based in the Bronx. In the months leading up to Harris’s murder, JOSEPH, DELVALLE and others committed armed robberies and sold crack, ecstasy, and marijuana near East 173rd Street and Monroe Avenue.
In about March 2010, JOSEPH, DELVALLE, and other members of their crew began spending time with Harris. At the time, Harris was homeless and living on the roof of JOSEPH’s building. Harris repeatedly asked to be included in the robberies that JOSEPH and DELVALLE were committing, but they declined his requests. In late August 2010, Harris learned that JOSEPH and DELVALLE had cheated a drug customer, and that the customer had supposedly returned to the neighborhood with a gun, looking to retaliate. Harris told JOSEPH and DELVALLE that Harris would give the drug customer their location unless JOSEPH and DELVALLE provided Harris a share of their drug proceeds.
On or about August 31, 2010, JOSEPH, DELVALLE, and a co-conspirator decided to kill Harris. After an aborted plan to shoot Harris at Crotona Park, the men brought Harris back to an apartment on LaFontaine Avenue in the Bronx, where they spent the evening with Harris drinking and smoking PCP. As the night wore on, the men decided to kill Harris using knives they obtained from the kitchen of the apartment. As Harris was walking toward the door of the apartment, JOSEPH, DELVALLE, and a coconspirator attacked him, repeatedly stabbing Harris in the head, neck, and torso with knives, and beating him with cooking pots as Harris tried to escape. When they realized that Harris was not dead, the men moved him to the bathtub of the apartment, where they tried unsuccessfully to drown him. Harris begged for his life. JOSEPH and a coconspirator tried to strangle Harris with an extension cord around his neck. Harris broke free and ran for the door, but they pulled him back. DELVALLE then took the extension cord and strangled Harris to death with it.
After murdering Harris, the men left his body in the bedroom of the apartment. The next day, they bought cleaning supplies and returned to the apartment with JOSEPH’s girlfriend and DELVALLE’S girlfriend. While DELVALLE waited outside the apartment building as a lookout, the women dismembered Harris. JOSEPH, DELVALLE, and the coconspirator cleaned the apartment with bleach, wrapped Harris’s dismembered body in garbage bags, and removed it from the apartment in a shopping cart.
Early in the morning hours of September 1, 2010, the women wheeled the shopping cart containing Harris’s body west on 180th Street to Webster Avenue, while the three men followed them in DELVALLE’s car. After briefly stopping into a gas station convenience store with the shopping cart, the women left the shopping cart containing Harris’s chopped up body on the sidewalk at 4109 Park Avenue. DELVALLE directed JOSEPH and a coconspirator to get rid of the evidence and gave them a red container with lighter fluid. The men walked to where the shopping cart was left, poured the lighter fluid on the body, and lit the body on fire.
Surveillance video from that night shows JOSEPH’s and DELVALLE’s girlfriends pushing the shopping cart, and two hooded male figures walking back from the location where Harris’s body was found. On September 1, 2010, at 3:52 a.m., firefighters called to the scene discovered Harris’s body in the shopping cart.
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In addition to their prison terms, JOSEPH, 31, and DELVALLE, 35, of New York, New York, and Rochester, New York, respectively, were sentenced to four years of supervised release.
Mr. Williams thanked the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for their outstanding work in the investigation and the New York City Police Department for its assistance.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Feinstein is in charge of the prosecution.