A New Jersey man will spend at least 7½ years in prison for robbing and extorting $15,200 from a Lancaster County business owner.
Decee Karngbaye, 33, targeted the man last year, beating and threatening to kill him and his family. A local jury convicted Karngbaye in August of three counts of robbery, conspiracy, and two counts of theft by extortion.
On Tuesday, County Judge Jeffery Wright ordered Karngbaye serve 7½ to 15 years in state prison.
Karngbaye and a co-defendant took $15,200 from the victim. At one point, the victim was shown a photo of a person being beheaded and warned that would happen to his family if he didn’t comply with demands.
Judge Wright said Karngbaye, a native of Liberia, targeted and preyed on a fellow immigrant: the victim being a native of Ethiopia who operated a restaurant.
Karngbaye inflicted on the victim and his family “the horrors from which they fled,” Judge Wright said.
Karngbaye’s only statement to the judge was, “Can you have mercy on me?”
First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen countered that Karngbaye showed the victim no mercy, physically confronting him three times and also placing a phone call in late April and early May 2015.
The victim “is still in fear and the reality is (he) and his family will living with this fear for the rest of their lives,” Larsen said in court. “They victimized fellow immigrants. (The victim) came to this country trying to make a better life for himself and his family.”
Karngbaye’s co-defendant, 35-year-old Cole Williams of Willingboro, N.J., is charged but remains on the lam.
Lancaster city police Officer Jason Drouillard filed charges.
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