Man convicted in college student's death at J'ouvert Festival gets 17 years in prison

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- A man convicted in the death of a young woman at the annual J'ouvert Festival in Brooklyn in 2016 was sentenced to 17 1/3 years in prison Friday.

Twenty-year-old Reginald Moise was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, and weapons possession in the shooting death of 22-year-old Tiarah Poyau, a graduate student at St. John's University.

He was acquitted of the more serious charge of murder.

Poyau was shot in the head at point-blank range and later died at Kings County Hospital.

Moise was given the max sentence, 15 years, for criminal possession, to be served consecutively with time for criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

The family begged for consecutive sentences and not concurrent, which the defense had requested.

"Criminally negligent homicide is a slap in the face your honor. It's really an insult, not just to me but to my whole entire family," the victim's mother, Valerie Brown said. "Please, I beg of you, please see fit to give him the maximum that is allowed for each charge."

After, she expressed

Moise turned to the family and apologized for their loss before he was sentenced.

"I'm sorry to Ms. Brown and the Poyau family for all stuff y'all have been going through," he said.

The family said they did not find his apology to be sincere.

"This defendant fired four shots during what was a joyous cultural celebration, tragically killing Tiarah Poyau, a completely innocent bystander with a promising life ahead of her," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. "It is a miracle that no one else was struck. Today's sentence delivered a measure of justice for Tiarah's heartbroken mother, family and many friends - and a clear message that gun violence will not be tolerated at J'ouvert."

The J'ouvert celebration, a carnival celebrating Caribbean culture, precedes the annual West Indian Day Parade and has been plagued with violence in recent years.

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