DA’S PRESS RELEASE
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe today announced that Daniel Jean-Baptiste (DOB 12/15/43) of 272 Main Street, Spring Valley, New York has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison and five years post-release supervision on his guilty plea to one count of manslaughter in the first degree, a class “B” felony.
District Attorney Zugibe said, “The defendant has been sentenced for the taking part in cold-blooded killing more than 18 years ago. This was a senseless killing that left a family and a community without closure. After so much time, I am happy to say that justice has finally been done.”
On October 20, 1994, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Zugibe said Jean-Baptiste assisted in causing the death of Rene Charles. The victim, a real estate broker and well-known activist in the local Haitian community, was shot twice in the back and once in the right side at close range with a .38 caliber handgun in the driveway of his Spring Valley home.
Detectives with the Spring Valley Police Department arrested the defendant on December 21, 2011. He was subsequently charged with murder in the second degree, a class “A-1” felony for acting with another person to bring about the death of Charles. Jean-Baptiste’s role in the homicide was to drive the second person to the victim’s home; he was not the actual shooter. After Charles was killed, the defendant returned to pick up the triggerman, both of whom fled before police arrived.
Jean-Baptiste pled guilty on January 17, 2013 during jury selection for his impending trial. The plea agreement was reached with the consent of the victim’s family, which sought closure after 18 years. Executive Assistant District Attorney Stephen Moore prosecuted the case.