A former NYPD sergeant who tampered with evidence after shooting a rival in the face while off-duty copped to a plea deal on Friday that allows him to avoid jail time.
Ritchard Blake, 40, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Supreme Court to two evidence tampering charges for planting a knife next to 21-year-old Thavone Santana’s torso on Aug. 2, 2018 after shooting him in the face.
Blake then came back to the scene in East New York and retrieved the blade — which was all caught by a surveillance camera.
Blake and Santana were initially thought to be quarreling over Blake’s girlfriend — but as attorneys delved into the evidence, it was revealed that the beef between the two, who were acquaintances, was over a borrowed phone charger.
In Santana’s pending civil suit against Blake and the city, he alleges that Blake’s girlfriend borrowed Santana’s charger and that he bumped into Blake on Livonia Avenue on his way to buy a new charger — and that’s when Blake told Santana to stay away from his girlfriend and fired two rounds into Santana’s face.
Prosecutors were pushing to put Blake behind bars for one to three years, but Judge Danny Chun promised to give the disgraced cop just five years of probation for taking the plea.
“With today’s guilty plea to a felony offense, this defendant is being held accountable for his troubling behavior,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in statement. “He admitted to tampering with evidence in a failed attempt to frame another person and is no longer a member of the NYPD.”
A spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said that police found a box cutter next to Santana. But Abe George, Blake’s attorney, said that Blake acted in self-defense because he believed that Santana was armed.
“Today former NYPD Sgt. Ritchard Blake took responsibility for his actions on August 2, 2018,” George said.
“However what should not be forgotten is that this incident would not have occurred had the alleged victim, who was a convicted violent felony offender released just months before this incident, had not threatened my client’s life with a weapon,”
“Ultimately, the grand jury found that Sgt. Blake acted in self-defense when he was forced to shoot the alleged victim to defend his own life,” George continued.
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