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Suffolk DA: Manorville Man Indicted In Connection With Shootings Of Businesses, Residences, Hate Crimes

Written by Chris Boyle  |  22. April 2021

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini has announced the indictment of a Manorville man in connection with five shootings throughout Suffolk County in 2020 as well as the alleged harassment of several victims via telephone and social media. The alleged harassment includes messages that were anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ in nature, which have been charged as hate crimes.
 
“This defendant is an alleged menace who has terrorized a number of individuals in our community based on his perception of their religion and their sexual orientation,” District Attorney Sini said. “He allegedly harassed numerous victims; he shot a gun into a residence and several establishments throughout Suffolk County; he vandalized cars; and he repeatedly sent extremely disturbing messages to his victims on social media that have caused them to fear for their lives and the safety of their loved ones. We are not going to stand for that in Suffolk County. We are taking this case extremely seriously and investigating it thoroughly, and have indicted this individual on 36 criminal charges, including several hate crimes.”
 
“For months, Christopher Keller spewed hate and created life-threatening situations for individuals causing unnecessary harm and fear,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “I would like to thank members of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and Fifth Precinct Detective Alberto Acevedo for their tireless work to identify, locate and arrest this defendant while bringing a sense of relief to his victims.”
 
Christopher Keller, 36, of Manorville, is charged with three counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D violent felony; two counts of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, a class D felony; two counts of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, a class D felony; three counts of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime, a class E felony; Criminal Possession of a Firearm, a class E felony; seven counts of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, a class E felony; four counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor; Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor; four counts of Menacing in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor; and nine counts of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor.
 
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and Suffolk County Police Department’s Fifth Precinct Squad detectives were investigating five shootings that occurred in Suffolk County in 2020, including the shooting of a residence in Kings Park on Nov. 22, 2020; the shooting of a retail business in Holtsville on Nov. 22 and Nov. 25, 2020; the shooting of a business in Medford on Nov. 28, 2020; and the shooting of a retail business in Nesconset on Dec. 1, 2020. Vehicles at the Kings Park location had also been shot with a pellet gun on Oct. 17, 2020; Oct. 18, 2020; and Oct. 31, 2020. Additionally vehicles at a residence in Medford were shot with a pellet gun on July 17, 2020; July 26, 2020. The investigation revealed evidence that Keller had allegedly committed the five shootings and was responsible for damaging the vehicles.
 
Subsequently, one of the victimized businesses’ employees reported to detectives that he had been receiving threatening messages via Instagram that included anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery depicting the Holocaust. The investigation revealed that Keller had allegedly sent the messages.
 
Further investigation revealed evidence of additional victims who had allegedly been harassed by Keller via Instagram between July 2020 and February 2021. He allegedly sent several victims messages that included death threats, maps with their addresses marked off, photos of their family members, and violently pornographic images, as well as harassing messages that were anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ in nature. Keller also allegedly harassed the victims via telephone.
 
Pursuant to the investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Keller’s residence in Manorville on Feb. 12, which resulted in the seizure of an assault rifle, a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol, a .22 caliber rifle, and multiple large capacity ammunition feeding devices. Keller was arrested following the search warrant on Feb. 12.
 
Keller was arraigned on the indictment today in front of Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro. At the arraignment, the Office requested that the defendant be held in jail pending the completion of his case. The Court released the defendant on $300,000 cash bail, which he had previously posted, with GPS monitoring and supervision by the Suffolk County Probation Department. He is being represented by Glenn Obedin and is due back in court on May 3.
 
If convicted of the top count, Keller faces a maximum sentence of up to seven years in prison.
 
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Laura Sarowitz, of the Enhanced Prosecution Bureau, with assistance from Assistant District Attorney Sheetal Shetty, of the felony Offense Bureau’s Major Crime Unit, who is a member of the District Attorney’s Office’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
 
In March, District Attorney Sini announced the creation of the District Attorney’s Office’s Hate Crimes Task Force, which consists of eight specially-trained prosecutors who work with the various police departments in Suffolk County to investigate suspected bias-motivated crimes and bring enhanced charges where appropriate.
 
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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