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Washington Heights, NY - Man Accused of Killing Elderly Mensch Stands Trial Again

Published on: January 8, 2010 10:44 AM
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Jacob GerstleJacob Gerstle

Washington Heights, NY - William Hill may have intended to rob an 81-year-old man when he got on a Washington Heights apartment building elevator in May 2006, but what he came away with was a murder charge after allegedly killing a beloved member of the neighborhood’s Jewish community.

Hill, who is roughly 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, punched Jacob Gerstle in the face, knocking him to the ground, and then took his wallet and cell phone, (as was reported here on VIN News). Gerstle, who was on blood-thinning medication, was found “lying in a pool of blood on the floor,” and died days later from a brain hemorrhage, prosecutors said during opening arguments of Hill’s murder trial.

“He was a real mensch,” said a long-time friend of Gerstle, who asked not to be identified, outside the court room. “There was no one too low for him to help.”

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This is the second time Hill has been tried for murdering Gerstle. The previous trial ended in a hung jury.

The report from CBS 2 in 2006

Video surveillance footage shows Hill entering and leaving 105-115 Bennett Avenue in Washington Heights at the time of the assault and robbery, said Assistant District Attorney David Hammer.

Hill was later recognized by a childhood friend who was required to testify about his friend’s misdoings.

The friend, Brandon Stevens, said he identified Hill’s jacket, outfit and mannerisms in an NYPD security tape that was played on a TV news station.

The worried buddy called Hill to inquire and eventually advised him to turn himself in.

Stevens said police had been “trying to get to [Hill] through me,” by visiting and calling his home frequently.

Gerstle’s widow is expected to testify, along with Hill himself and medical experts.

Relatives and friends from Gerstle’s synagogue, Khal Adath Jeshurun on Bennett Avenue, at the trial Thursday said Gerstle fled Nazi Germany and had been living in New York most of his life.

The trial will resume Monday out of respect for Hill’s Islamic observance of Friday as a day of rest.


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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 08, 2010 at 10:52 AM Anonymous Says:

How is a jury hung on such a case? Is it a repeat of the Lemrick Nelson saga?

2

 Jan 08, 2010 at 11:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

How is a jury hung on such a case? Is it a repeat of the Lemrick Nelson saga?

There is always a question of intent when there is a murder trial. Please don't go on with conspiracy theories everytime you hear something.. Yidden do this all the time and it really makes us look bad.

3

 Jan 08, 2010 at 11:31 AM Anonymous Says:

Actually it is not really a question of intent. Once you have the intent to rob (a felony) and someone dies it is called felony-murder and the intent of the robbing is transfered to the murder. Problem is convincing a jury of anything. This bum should rot and never be let out of prison. He had been out of prison for previous charges for like 2 weeks before this happened. He gets on the street again it could be anyone that gets hurt by him next.

4

 Jan 08, 2010 at 11:42 AM Anonymous Says:

may the family and wonderful community of breurs never know of such events again

5

 Jan 08, 2010 at 01:02 PM Truth Says:

This is what happens in a liberal society. There are no criminals. If there are -then it's not their fault. If it is their fault -we can't punish them too long. Even if the liberal NY jury found him guilty, he would never get what he deserves -namely -Death. So at least this way if he walks -the goyim can't even fool themselves, saying -Justice was served!

6

 Jan 08, 2010 at 03:44 PM TIDE Says:

3-1/2 years have passed since that awful day. Mr Jack Gerstle is sorely missed. His children and grandchildren and great grandchildren,his kehiilo,yeshivo,,all miss him and will see to it that that the murderer ,William Hill,whose initials are the same as Washington Heights,will be punished appropriately.Hashem will avenge his loss. Please,VIN,keep us up-dated.

7

 Jan 09, 2010 at 01:50 PM jewinjerusalem Says:

Mr. Gerstle was a true tzaddik who did much chessed for his community and klal yisrael.

8

 Jan 09, 2010 at 07:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Actually it is not really a question of intent. Once you have the intent to rob (a felony) and someone dies it is called felony-murder and the intent of the robbing is transfered to the murder. Problem is convincing a jury of anything. This bum should rot and never be let out of prison. He had been out of prison for previous charges for like 2 weeks before this happened. He gets on the street again it could be anyone that gets hurt by him next.

And what the # 3 commentator forgets to mention is he beat up other people for the entire year before this and was not caught. Didn't you see the clip by Lou Young?

Are you insane by ignoring this? If I were to be on this jury and be the forman I would make sure th e criminal does not see day light again and not because he killed one of our own but the law clearly states what he can be convicted of in a case like this and that is maximum.

Anyone who wants to defend murderers I suggest you leave your address on the next post so the police can send some of these guy sto your door.

9

 Jan 09, 2010 at 10:59 PM Anonymous Says:

The only reason there was a hung jury, was because the victim was jewish.
Jewish defendants have no chance in a jury trial in new york.
Also; jewish plaintiffs in Personal Injury cases in NY have no chance for any kind of a reward, if any, as those awarded by NY juries in other similar cases.
And insurance companies already know that, and therefor offer bubkes to settle.

10

 Jan 10, 2010 at 07:34 AM Kehilo Says:

Jack Gerstle was a kind man and the passing of time doesn't make it any easier.

11

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