A Suffolk County jury found Michael Gilbert, age 29, of Riverhead, guilty of murder and related charges Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the shooting death of Tyrell Durham in Moriches.

According to prosecutors, on Nov. 26, 2021, Gilbert overheard a phone call in which his girlfriend, Lashonda Coles, asked Durham’s girlfriend why she was with “the guy that knocked her teeth out.”

The conversation was also overheard by Durham, who began yelling obscenities at Coles. Eventually, Gilbert and Durham began yelling at each other over the phone and Gilbert challenged the victim to “meet me outside.”

A short time later, the group met outside the Tall Oaks Apartments in Moriches, located on Meadowoods Lane.

As soon as Gilbert and Coles came around the corner, Gilbert fired multiple shots from a .22 caliber semiautomatic handgun, striking Durham three times, according to prosecutors.

Durham was taken by ambulance to Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue where he died within the hour.

Gilbert fled the scene but surrendered to Suffolk County Police days later.

During the trial, Durham’s girlfriend identified Gilbert as the shooter. Coles corroborated their argument over the phone and testified that she saw Gilbert with a gun in his hand.

Prosecutors also presented DNA evidence on a sandal that linked Gilbert to the crime scene.

“A man is dead because a needless argument caused this defendant to pull a trigger and thoughtlessly take the victim’s life,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney. 

“One has to wonder if the defendant, who is now convicted of murder and faces 40 years in prison, thinks it was worth the time.”

In court Tuesday, jurors found Gilbert guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, Nov. 2. 

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