Yonkers Man Convicted of Neighbor’s Murder Dies in Prison: Autopsy Awaited

Terrence Gonzalez, a Yonkers man who had been sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder of his neighbor, Lateef Butler, died in Elmira Correctional Facility this summer.

A death sentence

Westchester County Judge George Fufidio handed down the maximum sentence of 25 years to life to Gonzalez earlier this year after a jury convicted Gonzalez of the second-degree murder of his neighbor. The conviction stemmed from an June 26th, 2020 incident where Gonzalez shot Lateef Butler five times outside their shared apartment building located at 354 Nepperhan Ave. The Yonkers Police arrested Gonzalez shortly after the shooting, and after he discarded the weapon in a nearby park. Despite his claims of self-defense, security footage captured the event between Gonzalez and his neighbor. This footage was critical evidence during the trial. It played numerous times for the jury, which ultimately rejected Gonzalez’s defense arguments.

Following his sentencing on February 16th, Gonzalez transferred to Elmira Correctional Facility a week later. On June 25th, Gonzalez, 31, was found dead in his prison cell. State prison authorities await the results of the autopsy. Determining the cause of death is the Chemung County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Oddly, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) sent a letter to the Westchester County court in July indicating that Gonzalez had been “released” from the facility.

Passing in prison

In a year marked by a concerning number of inmate deaths across the state. Jonathan Bandler of Journal News reports five inmates have lost their lives at Elmira Correctional Facility in 2023. These numbers include one case of suicide and another attributed to natural causes. The causes of death for Gonzalez and two other inmates remain listed as “unknown” pending the results of ongoing investigations. These all contribute to the tally of 66 inmate deaths statewide.

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