Man who admitted to Albany nightclub shooting, sentenced to prison

Kareem Blacknall

ALBANY (WRGB) - The man who opened fire inside an Albany nightclub on Thanksgiving in 2016, killing another man, will serve 25 years in state prison. The court heard from the defendant himself and from those close to Wendell Hill, 26, who was killed that night.

"My heart was crumbled to pieces by the loss of my youngest son, Wendell."

Wendell Hill's mother Demetria Conyers took the stand today with support from a number of family members - talking about the last year she's lived without her son.

"A parent should never have to bury their child."

Hill was killed in the early hours on November 24th, 2016 inside Rocks nightclub and bar in Albany when he was shot by Kareem Blacknall - police say after an argument.

"I was weak, speechless, paralyzed, receiving this news that my baby was gunned down," Conyers said.

But she was too broken up to finish reading. Victim witness specialist Kathryn Merrick read the rest of Conyers statement, and then went on to read a statement for Maiya Boykin, one of the three bystanders who were caught in the middle of the gunfire that night.

"After the shooting, the most difficult part of adjusting to life was understanding that every popping sound was not a gunshot and that I don't have fear for my life all the time," Merrick said.

Blacknall bowed his head in tears a few times - then spoke for himself.

"I have hurt many in this process, I would like to sincerely apologize to the victims and their families," the defendant said.

He asked for sympathy on his sentence, but Judge Breslin quickly determined a sentence of 25 years.

Blacknall was remanded and stated he will not appeal - he also faces 5 years probation following his sentence.

Hill's family declined to speak on camera after the sentencing, but did say they're grateful for the maximum sentence.

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