Freeport Man Convicted of Murdering Gang Rival

A Freeport man was convicted Monday of gunning down a rival gang member in the parking lot outside a Hempstead bar last year.

A Nassau County jury found Ramiek Smalls guilty of second-degree murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Prosecutors said that the 24-year-old and two others confronted Lawrence Hartman, 28, of Freeport, at the Rumba Sky nightclub on May 31, 2011 following a year-long feud.


The victim was set to perform in a Hip Hop show at the bar when he became involved in a fight outside in which Smalls shot Hartman in the abdomen and left thigh, authorities said.

Hartman died two hours later at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

Smalls fled the scene with two co-defendants, 33-year-old Michael Toney of Uniondale and 24-year-old Richard Paul of Floral Park, prosecutors said.

Police apprehended the trio about a month later.

Toney pleaded guilty to gang assault and attempted assault. Paul pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. Both men are awaiting sentencing.

Smalls faces up to 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 11.

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