Inmate charged in 2009 Schenectady killing
Young already in prison on heroin conviction
Updated 8:28 p.m.
SCHENECTADY A state prison inmate was arrested Friday in the January 2009 killing of a man at the former Tip Toe Inn.
The arrest came on the eve of the five-year anniversary of 24-year-old Jumez Lee’s death.
Sylvester Young, 35, formerly of Division Street, now faces one count of second-degree murder as well as a host of other charges.
Young is accused of firing a single shot from a .45-caliber pistol, hitting Lee and injuring a woman, prosecutor Philip Mueller said Friday.
The shooting happened at an unauthorized, after-hours party the morning of Jan. 25, 2009. The former inn is at the corner of Altamont Avenue and Hamburg Street. At least some at the event were there for a birthday party.
Lee was the target, Mueller said.
“We believe there was bad blood between [Young and Lee],” Mueller said. He declined to elaborate.
The woman was an unintended victim, Mueller said.
Lee was shot in the head while the woman was hit in the back, authorities have said.
Young emerged as a person of interest early in the case, Mueller said. Investigators, though, were given time to build the case against him.
Young was taken into custody on Jan. 30, 2009, just five days after the shooting on unrelated drug charges, records show. He was accused of selling heroin.
He was eventually convicted of selling drugs and given a seven-year prison sentence. The earliest he could be released on that sentence is October 2015, records show.
In the meantime, investigators continued to investigate Lee’s killing. Mueller said they reviewed the case recently and determined that the evidence was there to charge Young.
“We’ve gotten information really over the years, always hoping for more,” Mueller said.
They reviewed it with an eye toward the five-year anniversary and the statute of limitations connected to the lesser charges against Young.
A murder charge has no time limit, but other charges would have been barred if the full five years passed.
Young faces one count each of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, multiple counts of felony criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.
The tampering counts are based on allegations that Young hid the murder weapon. It was unclear if the gun was recovered.