By PRISCILLA PEREZ
A two-time felon charged with murdering his girlfriend refused to leave the holding cell at Brooklyn Supreme Court Thursday where he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Benjamin Braxton, 52, was convicted of stabbing Raynell Howington to death in May 2013 in the lobby of her Brownsville group home. The crime, described as “cruel and heinous” was caught on surveillance.
Howington’s daughter Carmelia Fluker, surrounded by a dozen relatives, read a poem from the pew before the judge handed down the sentence.
“How am I supposed to find peace, when I’m mentally and emotionally distracted?” she said.
Supreme Court Justice William Harrington recalled the vivid details of the crime before sentencing Braxton:
“And this was somebody very determined to end the life of the decedent, but not just end the life of the decedent but there was a certain element of cruelty and torture to this crime,.”
Braxton was seen in the video deeply stabbing Howington several times in her legs and neck with a razor-sharp box cutter. While she tried to crawl away, he continued knifing her in the stomach, reaching her trachea, and then the throat, which ultimately caused her to bleed out and die.
“He then apparently stood back, in a sort of perverted way, to admire his work and see what the result was,” the judge said.
It reportedly took an ambulance 15 minutes to arrive to the scene because of the lost 911 calls to the city’s emergency response system.
Justice Harrington added that Braxton was also charged with attempted murder of another former girlfriend in 1996, and “is a fully grown adult that demonstrates he is an ongoing danger.”
“The people of New York deserve to be safe from Benjamin Braxton,” said Assistant District Attorney Joan Erskine.
Photo of daughter’s diary by Priscilla Perez