YONKERS, N.Y. – A Yonkers man faces life in prison after he was found guilty of shooting the mother of his child in cold blood and leaving his baby daughter abandoned for three days, the Westchester District Attorney announced Tuesday.
Michael Saunders, 50, of 361 Warburton Ave., was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, all felonies.
Prosecutors said Saunders shot Sabrina Durrah in the head and chest on March 21, 2012 at her Main Street apartment in White Plains.
The dispute started, prosecutors said, when Saunders received a text that Durrah, his ex-girlfriend, intended on filing papers in court for child support in regards to the 4-1/2-month baby girl they had together. Following a heated exchange, Saunders shot Durrah twice, one in the back of the head, and left the baby unattended next to her murdered mother, prosecutors said.
The baby was discovered three days later by the victim’s relatives.
White Plains police eventually launched an investigation and found a neighbor who reported hearing two gunshots and a baby crying between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the night of the shooting.
Police also reviewed security footage in various locations around Durrah’s apartment building that showed Saunders outside the building. Despite warm weather, he was wearing a long sleeved hooded sweatshirt and gloves as well as a hockey style mask on top of his head, prosecutors said.
Security cameras showed Saunders wearing the mask over his face as he left the building, prosecutors said. He was arrested by White Plains police on March 26.
“As was shown at trial, this defendant was intent on eliminating two burdens, an emotional one and a financial one,” District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a statement following the conviction. “The defendant planned and executed his scheme with cold calculation, murdering an ex-girlfriend and abandoning his own months-old infant daughter at the feet of his victim.”
Saunders faces a max sentence of 32 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced on June 25.