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Washington Heights, NY - Mugger Gets 25 Years for Elevator Slay of Elderly Jew

Published on: March 1, 2010 02:26 PM
By:  NY Post
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Jacob GersteleJacob Gerstele

Washington Heights, NY - A 6-foot-6 career mugger who bludgeoned an 81-year-old Orthodox Jew to death while robbing him in his Washington Heights elevator was slammed today with a maximum sentence of 25 years to life for the brutal murder.

Victim Jacob Gerstle had been coming home from his synagogue in 2006 when William Hill, 28, punched him in the head so hard, Gerstle lapsed into a coma and died two days later,(as was reported here on VIN News).

“Had Mr. Hill just gone into the elevator and said ‘I’m down on my luck,’ he probably would have invited him up to the apartment and given him something to eat,” Gerstle’s son, Leon, told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Bruce Allen during the crowded sentencing.

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Gerstle ran a food pantry and helped neighbors find funds, schools and jobs. His last words may well have been to his murderer, to whom he said, “Hi, how are you?” according to Hill’s own admissions.

“I’ve tried dozens of murder cases in my career,” the judge said in throwing the book at the hulking murderer. “This is one of the most brutal crimes I’ve had to face.

“To attack a frail, elderly man in an elevator is every citizen’s nightmare.”

Hill was linked to the heinous crime by his confessions to a friend and cops, as well as surveillance video from his Bennett Avenue lobby showing someone of the Hill’s size, age and race following Gerstle into the elevator.

Still, the veteran robber denied it was him, claiming his confession was coerced by threatening cops. “It’s as if he was in a hotel getting room service,” defense lawyer Daniel Gotlin had scoffed of prosecutors’’ insistence that Hill was fed and well cared for in custody.

Hill’s 2008 trial on the same murder case ended in a hung jury.

WCBS report from 2006

 


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Read Comments (32)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 01, 2010 at 02:33 PM Justice Says:

what is the minimum sentence this creep yemach shemo will have to serve?

2

 Mar 01, 2010 at 02:41 PM 25 years? Says:

Premeditated murder, should had got him excecution

3

 Mar 01, 2010 at 02:56 PM I hope he never gets out Says:

While this wasn't premeditated murder a 6 foot 6 inch monster who can punch an 81 year old with all his might is a real monster that should be off the streets permanently.

4

 Mar 01, 2010 at 02:57 PM clear thinker Says:

Reply to #1  
Justice Says:

what is the minimum sentence this creep yemach shemo will have to serve?

The minimum sentence is 25 years. After 25 years the defendant may apply for parole. This was the maximum sentence for the crime he was convicted of.

5

 Mar 01, 2010 at 03:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Why didnt he get the death penalty like Martin Grossman?

6

 Mar 01, 2010 at 03:07 PM Anonymous Says:

So for killing a Jew you get 11 years, yet there seemed to have been no mercy for Mr. Grossman, for him life in prison was not an option What a world ?

7

 Mar 01, 2010 at 03:08 PM The Hot Seat @Sing Sing Says:

Reply to #1  
Justice Says:

what is the minimum sentence this creep yemach shemo will have to serve?

3 YEARS,10 MONTHS. " Good Behavior" credits, time served, plus reduction of sentence for each day served, also mandated over-crowding reduction mandates.
Hardly seems fair.....................should have got the chair

8

 Mar 01, 2010 at 03:26 PM Chaim Says:

Reply to #1  
Justice Says:

what is the minimum sentence this creep yemach shemo will have to serve?

25 to life. So minimum 25

9

 Mar 01, 2010 at 03:29 PM Professor Says:

Do you now understand why the death penalty is necessary? The
Torah mandates its implementation and it is incumbent on Gentile
societies to impose it as part of the Noahide Code---Dee-nim.

10

 Mar 01, 2010 at 03:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Just like I said for Grossman. This piece of crap deserves the death penalty. And his intent was to kill a Jew. Everyone who knows Bennet knows it is Jewish occupied. He could have stolen from a Dominican if he wanted to. Let this kid rot in jail I only wish he could get the death penalty.

11

 Mar 01, 2010 at 03:59 PM clear thinker Says:

Why do posters who know nothing about the law feel they should comment on what the minimum sentence is? New York State does not have the death penalty. I certainly hope that after 25 years the parole board denies this inmate parole. I would like to see Hill end his days in prison .
To those posters who argue about premeditation, New York does not have a statute requiring premeditation. Either the defendant must "with the intent to kill" cause death or cause death during the commission of a felony.

12

 Mar 01, 2010 at 04:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Chaim Says:

25 to life. So minimum 25

Dream on!
Average murderer spends under 6.5 years.

13

 Mar 01, 2010 at 04:15 PM Dag Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

Just like I said for Grossman. This piece of crap deserves the death penalty. And his intent was to kill a Jew. Everyone who knows Bennet knows it is Jewish occupied. He could have stolen from a Dominican if he wanted to. Let this kid rot in jail I only wish he could get the death penalty.

Looks like he had no intent to kill anyone. He intended to burglarize and killed the person in the process.

14

 Mar 01, 2010 at 04:16 PM Dave Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Why didnt he get the death penalty like Martin Grossman?

Because New York doesn't have that as an option.

15

 Mar 01, 2010 at 04:18 PM Justice does not make any sense Says:

Martin was excecuted, and this animal get's life? Shame

16

 Mar 01, 2010 at 04:23 PM PR Says:

Mr. Gerstle's death at the hand of this now convicted criminal was very tragic. However, Grossman's act was much more premeditated than this. Apples and pears, which is why the sentences meted out are different. Grossman had a hasraah, as his victim pleaded with him. This murderous bloke acted on impulse, however. He is a criminal and deserves punishment, but however much it pains me to have to recognize this, Gorssman acted far worse.

17

 Mar 01, 2010 at 05:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
25 years? Says:

Premeditated murder, should had got him excecution

Not if Liberal New Yorkers like you keep voting for Democrats. When will you people start moving to the Right?

18

 Mar 01, 2010 at 04:41 PM Shame on our system Says:

So that's where our tax monie goes, we need new and better judges.

19

 Mar 01, 2010 at 06:03 PM Dave Says:

Reply to #18  
Shame on our system Says:

So that's where our tax monie goes, we need new and better judges.

He gave the maximum sentence permitted under the laws of the State of New York. What do you propose he should have done instead?

20

 Mar 01, 2010 at 06:16 PM Anonymous Says:

maybe he will become jewish in prison

21

 Mar 01, 2010 at 06:25 PM You can't have it both ways Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Not if Liberal New Yorkers like you keep voting for Democrats. When will you people start moving to the Right?

You like the Death Penalty when a non-Jew kills someone. But if Grossman does, it's barbaric. And I saw posts blaming the liberals for Grossman's death.

Can't you people make up your minds or get your stories straight?

22

 Mar 01, 2010 at 06:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Why didnt he get the death penalty like Martin Grossman?

because new york doesnt have the death penalty like the neocons in florida. if martin grossman lived in new york he never would have been sentenced to death. in souther states like texas and florida (states run by bushes) they just loooove killing people (its that whole "cultrue of life" hypocrisy)

23

 Mar 01, 2010 at 06:52 PM emes Says:

uch n vey. how tragic. see how people grow up without conscience. He was fed and ok, and he had to do this. Someone must have overpowered and abused him his entire childhood and nobody stepped in, like a teacher or neighbor to stop it. So now he becomes this monster and does this horrific thing.
If it had to happen, it should have been in Florida.....

24

 Mar 01, 2010 at 07:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Too bad R' Yakov Gerstle Hy"d wasn't a beautiful park ranger.

25

 Mar 01, 2010 at 08:37 PM Anonymous Says:

NY does not have the death penatly because when it was enacted by Pataki in 1994 shortly after his election (it was one of his signature campaign promises) it was hastily drafted and declared unconsitutional as drafted 10 years later by the NY Court of Appeals (the highest court in NY). At that time Pataki did not care to pass a new law.
While this murder may not have been premeditated in the traditional sense of the word, this would be a felony-murder (a murder that happens during the comission of a felony, in this case the robbery) and in most states that have the death penalty would be a capital offense. The Judge in this case could not do any more than he did and hopefully the parole board in 25 years will keep him locked up. Scum like this don't deserve to breathe free air.

26

 Mar 01, 2010 at 08:46 PM clear thinker Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Dream on!
Average murderer spends under 6.5 years.

You can say whatever you wish. You can claim whatever you want. If you knew anything about New York law you would know that 25 to life means a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of forever. Does it fulfill some need to write a post that has no basis in fact in New York?

27

 Mar 01, 2010 at 10:11 PM Anonymous Says:

in this country stealing is worse then murder as we see the diffrence between this case and rubashkins case

28

 Mar 02, 2010 at 12:42 AM Mr. Green Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

in this country stealing is worse then murder as we see the diffrence between this case and rubashkins case

This is an interesting comment. Because you admit that Rubashkin stole. We are progressing. Welcome to the real world.

30

 Mar 02, 2010 at 06:19 AM Anonymous Says:

You get what you elect. The heimish community elects Shumer and all the othe liberal or comprimising politicians thats what you get. If you get murdered dont expect to have the killer get more than 7 years in prison.WHY? Because our leadership believes in getting funding for executive directors pockets instead of getting real vouchers for parents,getting tax cuts on real estate and water taxes. If you want liberal politicians who have one thing in mind of how to continue corrupting the morals of America. One issue bothers them most ,that homosexuals need to get married.And all you frum people from Brooklyn to Queens vote for Nadler,Schumer,Parker, Green, Anthony Weiner,Debazio and you wonder why when you get a bullet in the head or stabbed in the heart ,the killers get 7 years jail. Unless we change our voting patterns,Jews will remain victims with Jewish blood cheap like water. I for one vote politically conservative straight through to be on the safe side..

32

 Mar 02, 2010 at 09:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

You get what you elect. The heimish community elects Shumer and all the othe liberal or comprimising politicians thats what you get. If you get murdered dont expect to have the killer get more than 7 years in prison.WHY? Because our leadership believes in getting funding for executive directors pockets instead of getting real vouchers for parents,getting tax cuts on real estate and water taxes. If you want liberal politicians who have one thing in mind of how to continue corrupting the morals of America. One issue bothers them most ,that homosexuals need to get married.And all you frum people from Brooklyn to Queens vote for Nadler,Schumer,Parker, Green, Anthony Weiner,Debazio and you wonder why when you get a bullet in the head or stabbed in the heart ,the killers get 7 years jail. Unless we change our voting patterns,Jews will remain victims with Jewish blood cheap like water. I for one vote politically conservative straight through to be on the safe side..

this has nothing to do with schumer. you are an idiot, especially since senatora like schumer hve NOTHING to do with tate law and state code. you are an ignorant STUPID close minded daled amos midwood jew

33

 Mar 02, 2010 at 09:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

You get what you elect. The heimish community elects Shumer and all the othe liberal or comprimising politicians thats what you get. If you get murdered dont expect to have the killer get more than 7 years in prison.WHY? Because our leadership believes in getting funding for executive directors pockets instead of getting real vouchers for parents,getting tax cuts on real estate and water taxes. If you want liberal politicians who have one thing in mind of how to continue corrupting the morals of America. One issue bothers them most ,that homosexuals need to get married.And all you frum people from Brooklyn to Queens vote for Nadler,Schumer,Parker, Green, Anthony Weiner,Debazio and you wonder why when you get a bullet in the head or stabbed in the heart ,the killers get 7 years jail. Unless we change our voting patterns,Jews will remain victims with Jewish blood cheap like water. I for one vote politically conservative straight through to be on the safe side..

oh and 25 to life means 25 to life, not 7

34

 Mar 02, 2010 at 02:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

So for killing a Jew you get 11 years, yet there seemed to have been no mercy for Mr. Grossman, for him life in prison was not an option What a world ?

Perhaps the judge believed the defendant could be saved. Perhaps the judge believed in your Grossman rationale but was of the defendant's faith. Perhaps you are just being silly.

35

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