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Drug dealer sentenced to 85 years for orchestrating 2012 hit on law student in NYC

November 7, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Drug dealer sentenced to 85 years for orchestrating 2012 hit on law student in NYC

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A drug dealer from Queens who orchestrated the murder of a Los Angeles law student back in 2012 was sentenced to 85 years to life behind bars Thursday after the victim’s grieving mother fought for the maximum punishment.

Defendant Lloyd McKenzie was found guilty last July of ordering a hit on 31-year-old Brandon Woodard, who was a courier for the bicoastal narcotics enterprise, the New York Post reported.

Woodard’s mother, Sandra Wellington, admitted that her son was “no paragon of virtue” but added that “He didn’t deserve to die.”

She told justice Maxwell Wiley in Manhattan Supreme Court that the father of two was enrolled in the best private schools and graduated at the top of his class from Loyola Marymount University.

McKenzie was sentenced for his role in the murder Woodard

“Brandon was my only child, he was my heartbeat, my whole life,” she said as she teared up. “This defendant should never walk the streets again.”

At trial, prosecutors alleged that McKenzie had Woodard murdered to avoid paying $161,000 for cocaine shipments.

He took the killer to West 58th Street December 10, 2012, and watched as the still unnamed hitman shot Woodard in the back of the head in the middle of the day.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Prevost referred to the slaying as “cold-blooded and brutal.”

Defense attorney David Touger asked the judge for leniency, contending that Woodard was not an innocent bystander and had willingly taken on a criminal life.

An undated photo of Brandon Woodard with his mother, Sandra Wellington.

“We know Brandon was selling drugs on a large scale,” the attorney stated. “As his mother admitted, if he were alive today, he’d probably be getting 45 years.”

The judge called the evidence against McKenzie, who continues to maintain his innocence, “extremely powerful” before sentencing him to 85 years to life for second-degree murder, working as a drug trafficker, and other charges.

During the three-month trial, prosecutors hitched their case to the testimony of co-conspirator turned informant Quran Pender, an aspiring actor.

Pender said he introduced McKenzie to Woodard and the three organized the drug-dealing plot.

Three of McKenzie’s codefendants— Lature Irvin Sr., Michael Wisdom, and Darryl Mason — were also given serious prison sentences ranging from 12 to 40 years on drug charges. But McKenzie was the only individual charged with murder.

Woodard, who was attending the University of West Los Angeles Law School when he was killed, was graduated posthumously, Wellington noted.

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