Teen Sentenced to Prison For 2013 Murder of Raphael Ward

Three-and-a-half years after her son was shot and killed on the Lower East Side for his winter jacket, Arlene Delgado got justice yesterday. But the conclusion of the legal case offered her little solace.

19-year-old Timothy Montalvo was sentenced to 15 years to life. He was charged with murder for supplying the gun used to murder 16-year-old Raphael Sadonte Ward in January of 2013. The shooter was never caught. Montalvo refused to help cops find his accomplices.

Raphael Ward; photo via Facebook.

Raphael Ward; photo via Facebook.

The murder happened on Columbia Street not far from the Baruch Houses, where Ward lived. Delgado addressed Montalvo before the sentencing, telling him, “Neither one of us walk out of here a winner today… I’m going to deal with this heartache for the rest of my life.”

“Although I may never forgive you, ” she added, “I pray you look to God for answers and make better decisions moving forward,” The judge could have imposed a longer sentence, but Delgado said it wouldn’t have made a difference to her. “If they give you ten years, 25 years, it doesn’t ease my pain at all,” she explained.

Montalvo offered a brief apology during the court session. “I want to say I’m sorry even though I’m sorry is not going to bring him back,” he said.

After the murder, Delgado started the Sadonte Foundation to combat youth violence.  The group is holding a memorial baseball tournament this weekend (see below).

Yesterday’s court session was covered by the Daily News and the Post.

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At Unity Rally, Raphael Ward’s Mother Urges LES to “Stop the Violence”

Columbia and Rivington streets. Arlene Delgado, Raphael’s mom, is pictured to the left of Council member Chin. Photo: Councilmember Margaret Chin’s twitter feed.

Community activists, elected officials and residents sick and tired of youth violence came out in large numbers last night at a “stop the violence” unity rally.  The crowd gathered at 5:30 p.m. on Avenue D and 6th Street and marched down to Columbia Street, where 16-year old Raphael Ward was shot and killed January 4.

Arlene Delgado, Raphael’s mom, thanked the community for an outpouring of support in the aftermath of her family’s tragedy, and called on parents throughout the Lower East Side to do whatever it takes to keep their kids safe. “They say it takes a village, right… So our village has to pull together. You have to be more involved,” she said.  Delgado said she is starting a foundation in her son’s name.

Reminder: Unity Rally Planned on Lower East Side Tomorrow

We mentioned this more than a week ago, but here’s a reminder. Tomorrow afternoon, residents, community activists and elected officials are planning a Lower East Side Unity Rally.  The “stop the violence” event was planned in the aftermath of the January 4 murder of 16-year old Raphael Ward on Columbia Street.  The rally begins at 5:30 p.m. at Avenue D and 6th Street. Participants will march to Columbia and Delancey, near the location where Ward was shot and killed.


Raphael Ward’s Mom Talks, Unity Rally Planned

Raphael Ward; photo via Facebook.

WNYC has the first interview with Arlene Delgado, the mother of murder victim Raphael Ward.  The teenager was shot and killed January 4 on Columbia Street, after a dispute involving winter jackets.  One suspect, Timothy Montalvo, is in custody. police are searching for three others, including the alleged shooter.

WNYC visited Delgado, 34, in her apartment at the Baruch Houses.  While gazing at a video showing an animated Raphael singing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” she said, “He was very playful. You know, he was too young to take anything so serious. Nothing was serious enough for him… I could just finish disciplining him and he’ll still grab me and hold me and he’ll say, ‘Hug me back, Ma,’… I always felt like he was trying to find the weak side of me. … He’d say, ‘Hug me back or I’m not letting you go,’ and I’d have to hug him back.”

Police ID Alleged Shooter in Raphael Ward Murder Case

There are new details to pass along this evening concerning the Raphael Ward murder investigation. Today 16-year old Timothy Montalvo made an initial court appearance. He was charged with second degree murder and two counts of  weapons possession in connection with the fatal shooting of Ward on Friday night.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said today that police believe Montalvo furnished the murder weapon to 20-year old Walter Rodriguez.  Police have not yet arrested Rodriguez and two other suspects who were seen in a convenience store security tape.

“This was a dispute, possible retaliation, over jackets being stolen earlier that evening,” Kelly said.  According to investigators, the violent chain of events began Friday when a group (including Ward) was accused of stealing a winter coat.  A second group based above East Houston Street, including the cousin of the teen whose coat was swiped, came to Columbia Street intent on stealing Ward’s coat in order to get even.

Tonight the Post has details from the criminal complaint against Montalvo.  Prosecutors say he confessed to playing a role in the shooting. “I saw the guy (Rodriguez) shoot the kid,” Montalvo allegedly told cops. “I brought the gun, and I handed the gun to him before he shot him.”

Montalvo is being held without bail.  He’s scheduled back in court January 24; a grand jury has been convened to hear evidence in the case.


Raphael Ward to Be Memorialized Tomorrow Night With Basketball Tournament & Performance Showcase

Photos of Raphael Ward are part of a memorial on Columbia Street, near where the teen was shot and killed.

We received the following email from Judith Sam, director of youth services at Grand Street Settlement. The social services agency is located just a few steps away from the location in which Raphael Ward was shot and killed:

Classmates and family of Raphael Sadonte Ward, a 16-year-old fatally shot last Friday, will join together to honor the teenager with a basketball tournament and tribute performance showcase, organized by his high school peers and supported by local community organizations and politicians.  Immediately after the 6pm showcase and ball tournament to honor a teenager who loved sports, on Friday, January 11, Lower East Side youth will lead the adults – parents, teachers, neighbors, and community – in a memorial procession from the indoor ball court to the makeshift vigil, now crowded with hundreds of lit candles and handmade cards, marking where the tragic incident took place.  Details remain unclear surrounding the series of events that led to the fatal shooting of Raphael Sadonte Ward on Friday, January 4, in a convenience store on Columbia Street, across from the housing development where Ward lived with his family.  Inez Tucker, a family member of Ward, described the shooting as “senseless” and asked, simply, “when is it going to stop?”  In the wake of several high-profile incidents involving gun violence, Tucker and others are left wondering how to prevent further loss of life.  Many in the Lower East Side and beyond are calling on elected officials to strengthen gun control laws and to find community-driven solutions to end the cycle of violence.  “It’s too easy to get guns on the streets,” noted one parent, who was far from alone in her outrage and joined by an entire community in remembering a young life cut too short.

The event will take place at Grand Street Settlement, 80 Pitt Street, from 6-9 p.m.  Click through to see the event flyer.

Teen Arrested in Raphael Ward Murder; Fight Breaks Out at Funeral Home

Raphael Ward; photo via Facebook.

There was some news last night from the 7th Precinct’s Community Council meeting.  Captain Peter Venice announced one arrest had been made in connection with the murder of 16-year old Raphael Ward on Columbia Street six days ago.  This morning the Post is reporting the name of the suspect in custody. He is Timothy Montalvo, also 16-years old.

According to the Post, Montalvo is one of four teens seen on surveillance video shortly before the fatal shooting happened Friday night.  He has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and murder.  At last night’s meeting, a detective working on the case talked briefly about the arrest, explained that investigators are following up on a lot of leads and  said they’re confident more arrests will be happening soon.  The tragedy, he added, “confirms that there are too many guns on the street.”

Followup: Raphael Ward Murder Investigation; Tributes to LES Teen

Still image from security camera video; persons wanted for questioning in Friday night’s murder.

The NYPD yesterday circulated security camera video showing four “persons of interest” wanted for questioning in the murder of Raphael Ward.

As the Times reported, cops declined to characterize what role the young men might have played in the fatal Friday night shooting on Columbia Street. The Daily News, however, went a few steps further.  Its provocative headline read, “Cops: Here are the four guys who killed Raphael Ward for his Marmot jacket.”

Later in the afternoon, the Post reported that police were already interviewing three other people.  “The threesome were not believed to have participated in the cold-blooded murder, but may have information that could help investigators solve the case,” sources told the tabloid.  Also yesterday, at least some police sources were waving reporters off the (widely reported) theory that Ward was killed for his jacket.

Police Continue Search for Raphael Ward’s Killer; Funeral on Wednesday

Raphael Ward; photo via Facebook.

This morning police are still looking for the gunman who took 16-year old Raphael Ward’s life Friday night during a confrontation on Columbia Street.  Police believe the suspect is also a teenager, perhaps a boy even younger than Ward.

Police released a description of the gunman: 5-feet-6-inches tall, 120-140 pounds; at the time of the shooting (around 9 p.m.) he was wearing a black wool hat and a ski mask, a black hoodie, a green jacket and blue jeans.

Over the weekend, Ward’s mom, Ali Delgado, stayed in seclusion in the family’s apartment inside the Baruch public housing development. On Wednesday, friends and loved ones will be able to pay their respects at the Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home, 43 2nd Avenue.  Viewing hours are 2-5 and 7-9 p.m.

In a story published yesterday, Ward’s cousin, Nae Delgado,told the Wall Street Journal he tried to steer clear of bad influences, and wasn’t interested in the local gangs that are strong influences in all of the neighborhood’s public housing projects:

“He was a good kid… He didn’t cause trouble. I grew up here, this is the first place I ever lived, and we never got into trouble, nothing… He thought that if you couldn’t run by yourself then you weren’t brave.”

Followup: 16-Year Old Raphael Ward Murdered on Columbia Street

A makeshift memorial, including photos, candles and flowers, has gone up on Columbia Street.

Here’s more on last night’s murder of 16-year old Raphael Ward, a resident of the Baruch Houses.  A memorial has appeared outside a convenience store on Columbia Street where the teen was shot and killed shortly after 9 p.m.  Police are still searching for the gunman.

The New York Times paints a portrait of an athletic, personable kid who may very well have had a bright future even though he was growing up in a pretty rough part of the neighborhood:

Raphael Ward was known in the projects of the Lower East Side for his tall lanky frame, his easy laugh and his devotion to nearly every form of sports, especially baseball.