An enraged Brooklyn landlord settled a dispute over missing rent by fatally shooting her upstairs tenant late one night two years ago, prosecutors sought to prove with witness testimony in court on Thursday.
"One woman pulled out a gun and the other woman saw that and turned, running," said Vincent Laura, who testified that he saw the killing from his friend's kitchen across the street. "Then I heard five shots."
Jacqueline Wesley-Rosa, a landlord at a small apartment house in East New York, had repeatedly quarreled with Patricia Wilson, the victim, over rent and other matters before the murder, according to witnesses. Wesley-Rosa was seen leaving the scene of the crime by another witness, James Martindale, a neighbor.
A dispute over rent was the "main thing" in the arguments between the two women, Martindale testified on Thursday in Brooklyn.
Police apprehended Wesley-Rosa shortly after the shooting and charged her with second-degree murder. She faces up to 25 years in prison.
Wesley-Rosa, who has pleaded not guilty, whispered to her attorney several times during Martindale's testimony but appeared relaxed throughout the proceedings.
The night of the killing, Martindale said he heard heard quarreling followed by gunshots, then looked out his window and saw Wesley-Rosa walking down the street, he said. Outside the apartment, he found Wilson in the gutter, covered in blood, and tried to speak with her.
"She was gurgling," Martindale said. "The blood was choking her."
Two months before the fatal shooting, Wesley-Rosa fired a gun at Wilson and a male visitor during a dispute, but missed, Martindale said.
Wesley-Rosa had chased a male acquaintance of Wilson's out of her building, followed by Wilson, he said. Wesley-Rosa pulled out a gun and pointed at them, with Wesley-Rosa's boyfriend, Anthony, moving in between the three.
Wesley-Rosa said she wanted to "shoot this bitch," referring to Wilson, said Martindale, who was in front of his house next door at the time of the incident. One shot was fired, he said, but no one was struck.