'You will rot in hell': Teen charged in 2020 shooting death of Elmira man gets 15 to life

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Emotions ran high in the courtroom Thursday when one of two people involved in a 2020 home invasion robbery and shooting death of an Elmira man was sentenced.

Cooper Graham Jr., who was 16 when 39-year-old Ramonn S. Driscoll was killed, will serve at least 15 years in state prison.

Chemung County Judge Richard W. Rich Jr. sentenced Graham to 15 years to life in prison after Graham earlier pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder.

Co-defendant Eugene Cade, 33, pleaded guilty to the same crime in late July, only a few weeks before he was scheduled to go to trial. He will be sentenced at 9 a.m. Sept. 26.

Several members of Driscoll's family spoke, often directly to Graham, before Rich pronounced his sentence.

"You will pay for what you did. You will rot in hell," said Driscoll's sister, Regina Driscoll.

"How could you do this to our baby? You killed her daddy," said Driscoll's girlfriend, Abigail Vanderhoef.

A Chemung County grand jury initially came back with a 10-count indictment against Graham, including two counts of second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree burglary, and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies.

Around 2:30 a.m. Sept. 14, 2020, the Elmira Police Department responded to a residence in the 600 block of Taylor Street for a report of a gunshot victim.

Arriving officers located Driscoll inside the residence with at least one gunshot wound. Emergency medical personnel attempted life-saving measures, but Driscoll died at the scene, police said.

Vanderhoef and an infant were also present but were unharmed.

Cade and Graham tied up Driscoll and Vanderhoef and forced them to lie face-down on the floor while searching the apartment for valuables, according to Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore.

After the robbery and shooting, the suspects fled the scene in Ramonn Driscoll's car, which was later located on Alexander Place.

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A few months before Driscoll's murder, Elmira police investigated reports of a robbery in the 300 block of Brand Street in the city. Police charged Cade with first-degree robbery following that incident.

Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz confirmed Cade, who also had previous convictions for burglary and criminal sale of a controlled substance, was free on bail at the time of Driscoll's murder.

Cade was later convicted on the burglary charge and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is incarcerated at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus.

Wetmore said Graham's sentence, which was less than the maximum possible, was just. He said prosecutors wouldn't have been able to build a case against Cade without Graham's cooperation, even though Cade ultimately didn't go to trial.

It was also never determined which suspect fired the shot that killed Driscoll, Wetmore said.

Ramonn Driscoll's father, Daron Driscoll Sr., was also present at the sentencing. He doesn't believe justice was fully served.

"I think he should have gotten 20 to life," the elder Driscoll said. "I understand his age. I accept it. I wish it could have been more."

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This article originally appeared on Elmira Star-Gazette: Teen in 2020 Elmira shooting death sentenced to prison