Bridgeport man to be sentenced in Bridgeport courthouse shooting

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NEW HAVEN — A man faces up to 30 years in prison on Wednesday after admitting to staging a shootout against a rival gang that left a man paralyzed, according to an official with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Asante Gaines, 24, of Bridgeport, is the latest of six men to be convicted in connection with the shooting. He is due to be sentenced at 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to Tom Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.

Gaines pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to engage in pattern racketeering activity as well as attempted murder and aiding and abetting, which is in violation of the Assisting Racketeering Violent Crimes Act.


US attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery has called for Gaines to be sentenced to 25 years in prison. Gaines’ attorney, Jeffrey Kestenbrand, requested that Gaines be sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison.

Gaines, also known as “Santi,” is a reputable member of the “Green Homes Boyz” or “GHB/Hotz” gang, based in the Charles F. Greene Homes housing complex, according to former U.S. Attorney Leonard Boyle. .

On January 27, 2020, Gaines assisted fellow GHB/Hotz members and members of the “Original North End”, an allied gang, in an attempt to kill members of a rival gang during a cheeky afternoon in shooting in front of the state courthouse. on Golden Hill Street, Boyle said previously.

Twenty shots were fired at four victims, leaving one victim paralyzed and another with gunshot wounds to the back, shoulder and wrist.

Although Gaines was not one of the actual shooters, Avery said Gaines coordinated the attack.

“Gaines rallied his GHB gang members and his ONE allies to help him carry out the planned and very public assassinations,” Avery wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Gaines was not concerned that the planned murder was happening during the day, in a public courthouse with court marshals, police, attorneys, defendants, their family and friends, and four Connecticut Superior Court judges. “

Avery said Gaines was seeking public recognition of these killings.

Kestenbrand argued in a sentencing memorandum that Gaines’ association with the wrong crowd and decision to join GHB were unsurprising

Gaines’ father was absent from his life. His mother later divorced his stepfather, and Gaines lived temporarily with his grandmother and friends in various towns before landing in a homeless shelter in Ansonia, Kestenbrand wrote in Gaines’ sentencing memorandum. .

When Gaines’ mother got an apartment in Bridgeport, Gaines was bullied at school and changed to fit in. He joined GHB and has been back and forth in prison ever since, Kestenbrand wrote.

In August 2020, a federal grand jury indicted six men, including Gaines, on charges related to the January 2020 shooting.

Tyiese Warren was sentenced to 40 years in prison, Marquis Isreal was sentenced to 17 years and Diome Blackwell and Laheem Jones were each sentenced to 15 years. Destine Calderon was sentenced to more than eight years last month.

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