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Man gets 25 years to life in prison for 1990 execution-style shooting in Forest Hills

Gavel on desk. Isolated with good copy space.

Sept. 15, 2017 By Tara Law

A Manhattan man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for an execution-style shooting that took place near Forest Hills in 1990, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office

Kevin Smith, 60, a former Manhattan resident, was found guilty of second degree murder in November 2016 and was sentenced on Thursday.

On Feb 8, 1990, the victim Frank Sestak, 45, was driving a black station wagon on the Grand Central Parkway, while Smith sat in the back seat.  Meanwhile, David Hammerstone, who was 47 at the time of the incident, was seated in the front passenger’s seat.

When Sestak pulled over on the westbound shoulder of the parkway near 68th Avenue, Smith shot him once in the back of the head with a revolver.

Smith then got out of the car and approached the driver’s side door. He shot Sestak again and again, in the neck, head and shoulder. The bullets penetrated the victim’s skull, brain, spine and lungs.

Hammerstone also shot Sestak. In Oct 2016, he pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison.

“The defendant with ruthless calculation and precision fired a single shot into the back of the victim’s head,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “But that wasn’t enough. He had to make sure the dying man would not survive, so he jumped from the back seat of the car and fired several more shots into the man’s body.”

Smith and Hammerstone have a history of crime.

They robbed a Manhattan bank in 1990, a month after the murder.  Smith threatened the teller with a gun and seized $11,000 cash.

Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the incident.

 

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