An Atlantic City man was sentenced to 10 years in prison today for the fatal shooting of another Atlantic City man during a dispute over a drug sale in a case that had previously ended in two hung juries, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel stated.
Terryn Kelsey, 20, of 1922 Beach Avenue, entered a guilty plea on June 22 to one count of reckless manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Booker Purnell, 29, of Brights Court, and an unrelated drug charge for which Kelsey must serve four years in prison ton run concurrent to the homicide sentence. The defendant, who waived his right to appeal, must serve 85 percent of the prison term before parole eligibility. Upon release, he will be subject to three years of parole supervision, according to Assistant Prosecutor Donna Fetzer.
On Aug. 7, 2007 Kelsey killed Purnell while he was in the victim’s vehicle, which was parked in a lot adjacent to the intersection of Sheridan and Beach Avenues in Atlantic City. Purnell was shot four times and Kelsey was arrested shortly thereafter, Fetzer said.
Prior to the defendant being sentenced, the victim’s mother Harriet Saxon-Purnell told the court that she misses her only child, very much, knowing that she will never be a grandmother. During the proceeding she wiped away tears, Fetzer said.
“It is a travesty that young people think the way to solve their problems is with the use of a gun,” Fetzer said. “The situation will just get worse if we do not guide our children tobecome productive members of society. This is a tragic case for both families.”