A Long Island man dealing marijuana on a large scale was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday for a deadly 2007 home invasion.
According to Brooklyn federal prosecutors, Kensil Fender and a co-conspirator attempted to shake down Rowan Clarke at his Harlem apartment, thinking Clarke had stashed drugs and money at his place.
Clarke, who was unarmed, battled with the armed Fender, who was then 24. A witness said the robbers were yelling “where’s the money.”
Clarke, 39, wound up with one bullet in his back and another in his armpit. The father of two, who owned a Harlem restaurant and was a reggae manager, was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital.
According to prosecutors, Fender was connected to the “Fatherless Crew,” a big-time Queens drug ring that arranged for large packages of marijuana to be shipped into New York City and California from Arizona. Fender, now 36, was initially arrested in 2013 on identity theft-related charges, including misusing a passport. When he was charged with drug dealing, he confessed to being involved in the deadly attempted robbery, court papers said.
Fender pleaded guilty in December 2017 to the fatal would-be heist. The Jamaican national, who is now facing deportation, told Judge Kiyo Matsumoto on Monday he never intended to kill Clarke.
“It was never my intention and I’ve since learned from my mistakes. If given a second chance, I will make amends and try to be a better person.”
Fender was facing up to life imprisonment.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Heeren said Fender didn’t somehow stumble into the fatal outcome. Heeren said Fender made a series of choices, such as coming to Clarke’s apartment with his gun out and his finger on the trigger.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said, “More than a decade ago, Fender murdered a man while trying to commit a home invasion drug robbery. With today’s sentence, he learns that justice does not forget and does not rest.”