DA Vance: Michele Graham Sentenced to 21 Years in State Prison for Fatal Shooting in East Harlem

June 22, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of MICHELE GRAHAM, 37, to 21 years in state prison for fatally shooting Olivia Brown in East Harlem in 2013. On May 11, 2016, the defendant pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to Manslaughter in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. 

“Olivia Brown was only 23 years old when the defendant, in a senseless act of gun violence, abruptly ended her short life,” said District Attorney Vance. “I hope this conviction and sentence brings some measure of closure to Ms. Brown’s loved ones. While June is Gun Violence Awareness Month, my Office will continue to partner throughout the year with Manhattan communities and jurisdictions from coast to coast through Prosecutors Against Gun Violence to reduce this number of deadly weapons all too readily available to those who seek to inflict harm on others.”

As admitted in the defendant’s guilty plea, at approximately 3:30 a.m. on July 23, 2013, GRAHAM approached Olivia Brown in front of the Lincoln Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development at 1960 Park Avenue in East Harlem. The defendant withdrew a gun and fired a single shot. The victim crossed the street before collapsing, and died from her injuries several hours later at Harlem Hospital. GRAHAM was arrested the following day in an apartment in the Lincoln Houses.

Assistant District Attorneys Penelope Brady, Siobhan Carty, and Barbara Hutter handled the prosecution of this case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Robert Ferrari, Chief of Trial Bureau 40, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Assistant District Attorney Armand Durastanti, Counsel to the Trial Division, Investigative Analyst Sarah Doelger, and Technology Analyst Mallory Evans assisted with the case. 

District Attorney Vance also thanked NYPD Detective Raymond Watts and Lieutenant Kevin Sherlock of the 25th Precinct Detective Squad, and Detective Mark Worthington of the Manhattan North Homicide Squad. 

Defendant Information:


•    Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
•    Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count

•    21 years in state prison