NewsThe jury delivered a guilty verdict against 63-year-old Paul Gabriel. He shot and killed 22 year-old AJ Federighe inside a covered walkway at Balcom's Cove.
MUSKEGON, Mich. — Guilty.
That's the verdict a Muskegon County jury found against 63-year-old Paul Gabriel.
The jury was convinced Gabriel shot and killed 22-year old AJ Federighe inside a covered walkway at Balcom’s Cove condominiums on Muskegon Lake in Sept. 2018.22 year old Anthony Federighe. Photo credit Sytsema Funeral
The shooting followed a physical altercation between the two men.
Matt Roberts, chief trial attorney for the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office says the altercation was brief, and there weren't any witness who could testify to how it started.
"The whole fight couldn't have lasted more than 30-seconds at the most," Roberts said.
The altercation ended when a resident of Balcom's Cove entered the garage. The witness and his wife both testified during the week-long trial that Gabriel and AJ were already separated when Gaabriel removed a gun and pointed it at AJ.
Both Gabriel and AJ’s father Tony Federighe had condos at Balcom’s Cove in 2018, the two men who lived one floor apart had an ongoing feud.
"He told people he was going to kill me, and he ambushed my son," Federighe said following the verdict. "First-degree murder, I knew it was going to happen the jury seen through all the lies."
AJ was at Balcom's Cove the day he died to remove some of his belongings from his father's condo.
A surveillance camera from just outside the covered walkway shows AJ fall to his hands and knees and Gabriel walk calmly into the lobby while putting the gun back into a holster.
"We have all seen the video, it was deliberate, it was sick and it was sad," Buffy Jo Schichtel, AJ's mother said Friday outside a courtroom at the Muskegon County Hall of Justice. "He did it, he pays for it, in the end justice for AJ."
Roberts says after Gabriel pulled the gun on AJ in the garage the two witnesses convinced AJ to leave the garage and enter the walkway. Less than a minute later they testified Gabriel followed them and AJ into the walkway. The witnesses then left Gabriel and AJ and weren't there at the time of the shooting.
During the trial jurors learned Gabriel had a phone but didn't call 911 for help, and that he could have accessed his condo by three routes to avoid the walkway where AJ retreated with the witnesses.
"He didn't choose those, he choose in this case to pursue the victim and ultimately to kill him," Roberts said.
Paul Gabriel will be sentenced to life in prison on Dec. 16th.
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