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Man Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Prison for Murder of Tarrytown Mother

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January 12, 2023

By Rick Pezzullo—

 A New York City man was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison for the 2018 murder of a 34-year-old Tarrytown mother.

On Nov. 16, 2022, after a four-week trial, a jury found Cynell Brown, 32, guilty of murdering Jessica Wiltse Feb. 27, 2018 in her home on White Plains Rd. His sentenced was handed down by Judge George Fufidio in Westchester County Court.

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“Today’s sentence is justice for the heinous and cold-blooded murder of Jessica Wiltse, a mother of two who was shot and killed in a place where she should have felt safest – her home,” said Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah. “I commend the Tarrytown Police Department for their leadership and our law enforcement partners for their assistance in securing this conviction on behalf of the victim’s family.”

At approximately 7:10 a.m. on Feb. 27, 2018, Brown used a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol to shoot Wiltse two times, striking her in the chest and arm, in her home. She was transported to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where she was pronounced dead.

During the investigation, police recovered the gun that Brown used to murder Wiltse in a garbage can at a bus stop near her home and a suitcase near the garbage can that contained papers with Brown’s name and phone number.

Police also recovered a bag of cocaine that Brown discarded from the window of a cab as he fled the scene. Police also obtained surveillance video showing Brown purchasing a number of grocery items the night before the murder that were later recovered from Wiltse’s home.

Brown was apprehended by the Port Authority Police Department at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan on the evening of Feb. 27 with the assistance of the FBI’s Westchester Safe Streets Task Force.

The multi-agency pursuit and investigation was conducted by the Tarrytown Police Department, with the assistance of the Greenburgh Police Department, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force, the Ardsley Police Department, the Dobbs Ferry Police Department,  the Irvington Police Department, the Sleepy Hollow Police Department, the FBI’s Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, the New York State Police, the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

“Cynell Brown committed a vicious crime in our village,” said Tarrytown Police Chief John Barbelet. “Through the dedicated efforts of numerous investigators and law enforcement personnel, Mr. Brown was brought to justice and will now be held accountable for his actions. Our thoughts remain with the victim’s family members.”

Besides Murder in the Second Degree, Brown was found guilty of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, and two counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence, all felonies.





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