By JODI-ANN MALARBE
The chilling testimony continued on Thursday in the trial of a reputed pimp accused of murdering and cutting up his ex-girlfriend, as a key witness took the stand to detail his involvement in disposing some of the victim’s dismembered body parts.
Rasheen Stanley, 43, who formerly worked for 14 years at Mid-Bronx Haulage, the private trash company where he dumped the remains of victim Leondra Foster, gave his testimony against former friend and defendant Somorie Moses.
Stanley detailed the tense circumstances that led to his assistance in disposing the remains, reiterating the threat by Moses mentioned by Assistant DA Sabeeha Madni in her opening statement in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
“Same thing that happened to this girl could happen to you,” Stanley said in a tense and choked up voice. “I thought he was going to kill me.”
As the witness was questioned by the prosecution, details of Stanley’s relationship with Moses revealed a complicated and tumultuous friendship that included bullying, assault and manipulation that ultimately ended in tragedy.
“He hit me in the head with a 40 bottle,” said Stanley as he turned his head to display damage from the incident. “I had a gash in the back of my head.”
While the witness sustained a knot to his head and a permanent bald spot from the assault he went on to detail how he and the defendant built up a tentative friendship with each other, having lived “right around the corner” from each other for most of their lives and attending the same junior high and high school.
Stanley, who was aware of Moses’ reputation as a pimp, often calling the defendant “Bear” after his neighborhood nickname “Sugar Bear”, maintained a casual relationship with the defendant before the incident in 2017, meeting up with the witness on occasion to smoke, drink and talk around the neighborhood.
That all changed when Moses questioned Stanley about his job at the hauling company. “He said he may need me to do a favor for him.” After their last meeting Stanley would remain in minimal contact with Moses until receiving several phone calls from the defendant in January 2017.
Stanley recounts ignoring the repeated calls while on the job. “He just kept calling me calling calling calling me.” He finally picked up to an urgent and pressing request from Moses to see him.
“He said he needed me to take something,” after a brief back and forth with Moses in which the witness informed Moses he had a GPS system in his truck and could not meet him Moses resolved to meet Stanley and his partner on his route to do the hand off.
Stanley then recounts the unsettling events that happened after Moses pulled up behind him, choking up and asking for a second before describing what he saw as he looked into Moses’ trunk.
“I noticed a bunch of bags… plastic bags,” Stanley noted as he carried out Moses’ orders under threat, “It felt all squishy, it didn’t feel like garbage.”
As Stanley continued, his intense testimony became overwhelming for some, with the victim’s sister, Shaniqua Figueroa, who had testified during the opening of the case, rushing out of the room near tears. She returned moments later and silently observed as the witness choked up once more trying to finish his account of events.
“I feel horrible … I committed a heinous act,” Stanley added after explaining how he continued his route before dropping the contents of his truck at the waste station and heading back home where he drank and stowed himself away until Moses came knocking at his door after calling him repeatedly throughout the day.
“It was a damn threat … I think he was hoping to try and reiterate his position,” the witness added.
But as the remains of Leondra Foster’s body was found days later. Stanley was soon brought in and questioned by police, where he admitted to his part in disposing Foster’s remains, withholding information about Moses.
“I was scared to death… I didn’t know where this man was… I didn’t know if he was by my house, my mama’s house” admitted Stanley after being questioned on why he withheld information before going back to the police with all he knew because, “It was the right thing to do.”
The witness was expected to return to the stand on Monday.