Richard Bailey of Wantagh was slain in 2008 during a botched robbery in Albany, where he attended college, and the gunman will now pay for the crime for the rest of his life.
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Dan Lamont sentenced De Von Callicutt on Thursday morning to the maximum penalty — life in prison without the possibility of parole — for Bailey’s murder. Callicutt, 20, of Rensselaer, was also given an additional 25-year prison term for the robbery of a second victim, whom he confronted minutes after he killed Bailey.
Bailey, a MacArthur High School graduate, was a senior at the University at Albany majoring in sociology when he was shot and killed on Oct. 20, 2008 at 11:20 p.m. after returning from his friend’s house where he watched Monday Night Football.
Riding bicycles, Callicutt and two accomplices, King Modest, now 19, and Ricardo Caldwell, now 20, both of Albany, confronted Bailey at South Lake Avenue and Yates Street in Albany and tried to rob him with a loaded handgun that Callicutt was waving, prosecutors said. Callicutt shot Bailey point-blank in the head, which instantly killed the Wantagh man, prosecutors added.
About seven minutes later, Callicutt robbed a second victim at State and Ontario streets, where the gunman threatened the victim while demanding money. That victim was unharmed.
Following a weeklong jury trial of 10 women and two men, Callicutt was in the Albany courtroom on Dec. 14. He was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Callicutt, who reportedly was already in prison serving an unrelated five-year term for attempted weapon possession, could have faced a minimum of 25 years to life in prison for the murder of Bailey. But Judge Lamont handed him the maximum life sentence after Chief Assistant District Attorney David Rossi and Bailey’s family pleaded for the maximum punishment.
Modest and Caldwell, who were described as lookouts for Callicutt, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery last year. Modest is facing 10 years in prison and Caldwell 12 years.
Bailey was a standout in football, basketball and baseball at MacArthur High School in Levittown.
“I want to thank the Baileys for the courage, strength and patience that they have exhibited throughout this long and trying process,” Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares said in December after Callicutt was found guilty in the murder.
Callicutt’s attorney, Cheryl Coleman, did not return repeated calls for comment. She is reportedly appealing his conviction.
Reached at their Wantagh home, Bailey’s family declined to comment.