4 charged in murder of baseball prospect in Yonkers plead not guilty

YONKERS, N.Y. (WABC) -- Four young men charged in a Yonkers Burger King parking lot shooting that killed a 23-year-old baseball Major League Baseball prospect pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Mike Nolan, who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 18th round of the 2014 draft, was shot in the head in September and was declared brain dead about a month later.

On Wednesday, Westchester County District Attorney James McCarty announced the arrests of 17-year-old Nashaun Hunter, 22-year-old Garth O'Neil Cole, 18-year-old Darren Dawson and 23-year-old Tejmitra Sing.

Hunter, of the Bronx, is charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, while the other three are facing first-degree assault and weapons charges.

One by one Thursday, they filed into court to be arraigned individually. And one by one, they pleaded not guilty. The appearances took place in a courtroom packed with friends and family, some wearing A's gear.

"They took my son for no reason what so ever," Nolan's mother said. "They took my son."

The incident happened on September 18, 2015, at approximately 12:38 a.m. in the area of 826 Central Park Avenue. Nolan was standing outside of his black Mercedes loaner car in the parking lot when a white Toyota Camry slowly rolled up alongside and six shots rang out from the back seat.

"The allegations in the indictment are frightening," McCarty said. "It's alleged that Nashaun Hunter, aided and abetted by Garth O'Neil Cole, Darren Dawson and Tejmitra Singh, piled into a car and drove to a fast-food restaurant, at which point the car they were in slowed so that Hunter could fire six shots and kill Michael Nolan, an innocent young man with a promising future."

Nolan was brought to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where he remained in a coma until he was declared dead on October 9. An extensive investigation by the Yonkers Police Department and the Westchester County District Attorney's office revealed that the shooting was in retaliation for the beating of an individual known to the suspects and related to events that took place during a drag race two nights before the shooting.

Police say they don't know if Nolan was the intended target, but they acknowledge he was part of the group involved in the fight.

"He was my best friend, my buddy," Nolan's father said. "My son."

Shell casings were found at the scene that matched the bullet recovered from the victim's body.

"I guess in time we will learn to live with it, but I will never accept it," Nolan's mother said. "And what? They go to jail? OK. I still don't get my son back." null
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