Justice For Zymere Perkins: D.A. Vance Announces All-Count Trial Conviction of Rysheim Smith For Brutal Murder of Six-Year-Old

January 15, 2020

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of RYSHEIM SMITH, 45, for the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s six-year-old son, Zymere Perkins, in their Harlem apartment in September 2016. A New York Supreme Court jury found SMITH guilty of Murder in the Second Degree, Manslaughter in the First and Second Degrees, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He was also found guilty of endangering the welfare of a second child on August 31, 2015, by causing an incident that left the child unattended. He is expected to be sentenced on March 27, 2020.

“The death of Zymere Perkins was an unthinkable tragedy that sent shockwaves through the city and inspired a reckoning with how our social services system works to protect New York’s most vulnerable,” said District Attorney Vance. “As proven at trial, Zymere was an innocent and helpless six-year-old boy who suffered unconscionable, ongoing violence at the hands of Rysheim Smith. Now, a Manhattan jury has rightly held the defendant accountable for this horrific murder, and I’d like to thank the members of that jury for their careful attention during this heartbreaking case. I would also like to thank my Office’s prosecutors, whose oath compelled them to fight for Zymere Perkins as if he were their own child, and who worked tirelessly to obtain a measure of justice for him in this devastating case.”

Assistant District Attorney Kerry O’Connell, Senior Trial Counsel to the Trial Division, handled the prosecution of the case with Assistant District Attorneys James Zaleta and Sam Cocks of the Child Abuse Unit, under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division, Assistant District Attorneys Nicole Blumberg, Chief of the Child Abuse Unit, and Armand Durastanti, Counsel to the Trial Division. Senior Rackets Investigators John D’Alessio, William Hicks, and Steven Lane, Rackets Investigators Donjya Bardliving and Ethan Zubkoff, as well as, Trial Preparation Assistants Gillian Monsky and Nora Wallace, Investigative Analyst Shelley Wu, and Legal Intern, Robert Glenn, also assisted with the case.

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD, particularly Detective Wilder Sanchez and Lieutenant Crinela Ianas of the 30th Precinct, and Detective Richard Koprowski and Lieutenant Patrick Brown of the Manhattan North Homicide Squad for their assistance with the investigation.

Defendant Information:

RYSHEIM SMITH, D.O.B. 2/21/1974

New York, NY


  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, one count
  • Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a class A misdemeanor, two counts