LOCKPORT – The homicide sentencings of identical twins Deon K. McTyere and Keon D. McTyere was postponed one week Thursday after a prosecutor alleged the brothers had threatened to kill police officers investigating other cases.
Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell charged that Deon had threatened the wife and daughter of a Falls detective and also threatened another officer. She said Keon told another detective, “Next time I see you, I swear to God, pop-pop-pop in your head.”
Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon said she wants to hear from the police officers the twins allegedly threatened, so she put off sentencing until Aug. 4 to take that testimony.
The 22-year-old twins pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the Aug. 22 slaying of Fajri J. Hilson, 31, in a parked car outside Max’s Lounge, a bar owned by the twins’ father, on Highland Avenue in the Falls. Police said Hilson was shot 10 times as both brothers opened fire with handguns from opposite sides of the car.
“There have been past documented cases where they have threatened officers. We take these matters very seriously,” Niagara Falls Police Superintendent E. Bryan DalPorto said when reached after the court session. He said the McTyere brothers are “no strangers to law enforcement.”
Before the sentencing was called off, Sheila Hilson, the victim’s mother, tearfully demanded answers as to why Fajri Hilson was killed so brutally.
“I can even understand if they shot him one time and went about their business, but you shot him 10 times,” Hilson said in court. “What did my baby do to them to make them stand there and shoot him like that?”
She wept as she pounded the lectern and shouted three times, “What did he do?”
Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma, Andrew C. LoTempio, Deon’s attorney, and David J. Mansour, Keon’s attorney, all declined to answer that question.
LoTempio said, “There’s no excuse for what happened, but there’s an explanation.” He said he will reveal it at the sentencing.
Hilson said after court that she had heard her son might have owed money to one of the twins, but she said, “I don’t think it was anything that serious.”
As for the postponement, she said, “It’s a never-ending story. I thought (the sentencing) would have been a chance to have a little peace.”
Sheldon acknowledged that the terms of the plea bargain limited her sentencing choices for the twins to 18, 19 or 20 years in prison. She said, “Maybe two years is a big deal, and I want to be careful before I make my decision.”
She also noted that she had been told Deon McTyere was a gang member, and the judge wanted proof, refusing to make her decision based on “rumor and innuendo.”
The judge asked if Deon would admit the allegations about threatening officers, and LoTempio replied, “I don’t think he’s in a position to admit that.”