HARLEM — A second man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the fatal shooting death of Harlem basketball star Tayshana “Chicken” Murphy.
Robert Cartagena, 23, was convicted April 1 of second-degree murder in the Sept. 11, 2011, shooting that prosecutors say stemmed from a long-running dispute between young people from the neighboring Manhattanville Houses and Grant Houses in West Harlem.
The day before Murphy, 18, was killed, police said Cartagena had been assaulted as part of that ongoing dispute. Prosecutors said that Cartagena and another man, Tyshawn Brockington, went to the Grant Houses at about 4 a.m. looking for revenge.
Murphy and a group of male friends ran when the two men showed up at the public housing complex where she lived with her family. Witnesses say she pleaded for her life in a fourth-floor hallway before she was struck with three shots to the chest, hip and wrist.
Brockington was also sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder last year. A third man, Terique Collins, was acquitted last year of weapons possession charges in connection to the case.
Murphy was a star senior player at Murry Bergtraum High School. She was ranked as one of the country's top point guards and was being recruited by several colleges, according to her family. Her father, Taylon Murphy, said his daughter's dream was to play in the Women's National Basketball Association one day and to take care of her family.