Angellyh Yambo’s killer sentenced to 15 years to life for murder

Angellyh Yambo's mother and father, along with Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, address the press following the sentencing of Jeremiah Ryan, whose stray bullet killed the 16-year-old in 2022. Photo Emily Swanson
Angellyh Yambo’s mother and father, along with Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, address the press following the sentencing of Jeremiah Ryan, whose stray bullet killed the 16-year-old in 2022.
Photo Emily Swanson

On Friday, 18-year-old Jeremiah Ryan was sentenced in Bronx Criminal Court to 15 years to life in prison for the 2022 fatal shooting of Angellyh Yambo. 

According to the Bronx District Attorney’s office, Ryan pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Aug. 4. He avoids trial and will serve 15 years to life, with parole hearings after the 15-year-mark.

Ryan remained quiet as Judge Jeffrey Rosenblueth delivered the sentence and also issued final orders of protection for the two teenage victims who survived the shooting. Now Ryan risks further charges if he contacts them or has someone else contact them in any way.

On April 8, 2022, 16-year-old Angellyh Yambo was walking home from University Prep Charter School on St. Ann’s Avenue in the Melrose neighborhood. An innocent bystander when she was struck by Ryan’s bullet — he was only 17 at the time. Although three kids were shot, Yambo was the only one who did not survive the crossfire.

Ryan, who was arrested by police the day after the shooting, used an untraceable “ghost gun,” prompting a call by U.S Rep. Ritchie Torres for new legislation to expand gun-free zones around schools and stiffer penalties for not only untraceable guns themselves but also the components and kits used to assemble them.

Members of Angellyh Yambo's family comfort each other after the Sept. 15 sentencing. Photo Emily Swanson
Members of Angellyh Yambo’s family console each other at the Sept. 15 sentencing of Jeremiah Ryan in the Bronx. Photo Emily Swanson

“You do not deserve a second chance”

The courtroom was packed with media, Yambo’s family and supporters Friday, several of whom wore custom t-shirts and carried pictures of the deceased in tribute.

Only a handful of supporters were present on Ryan’s side. He wore a green jumpsuit, a face mask and his hair in braids, while he sat motionless during the sentencing as two court officers loomed over him.

Ryan’s defense attorney, Derrick Magwood, said of his client, “He never offered any excuses. He always took responsibility.”

But Yambo’s family disagreed.

One of Yambo’s aunts, Lisette Camargo, told Ryan directly during sentencing, “You never showed us that you care. You have never taken responsibility for your own actions.”

Camargo said the family was “destabilized” as a result of the senseless shooting. She said that Yambo’s little cousins “get excited because they see her face on TV, not understanding she will never come back.”

Mary Hernandez, another of Yambo’s aunts, pointed out that her niece and Ryan had “uncanny similarities.” They both grew up in tough neighborhoods and had struggles at home. But unlike Ryan, her niece chose education and books over guns and violence, Hernandez said.

Yanely Henriquez, Yambo’s mother, told Ryan that her job is a block away from the city morgue and that she no longer goes “out to lunch to avoid seeing the (recurring image of) body bags.”

She called Ryan “selfish and reckless,” saying, “You do not deserve a second chance.” 

In his final opportunity — toward the end of the sentencing — to address the court and the family of the deceased, Ryan said in a low, quiet voice, “I apologize for my actions. I’m sorry.” 

Following the judge adjourning court, Ryan remained silent as he was escorted out. Someone on the bench tearfully told him, “I love you,” but Ryan did not reply.

One of Angellyh's siblings appears in court for the sentencing with a tribute t-shirt. Photo Emily Swanson
One of Angellyh Yambo’s little siblings appears in court with a tribute #JusticeforAngellyh t-shirt. Photo Emily Swanson

Recent shootings

With the hearings over, the family now hopes to turn their energy toward advocacy — to ensure what happened to Yambo will not happen again.

But the Bronx has seen a spate of recent shootings. On Tuesday, an 8-year-old in Mott Haven was hit in the leg by a stray bullet. Then on Thursday, gunfire killed a 71-year-old woman and wounded a street vendor, again in Mott Haven. That same day, three people were shot and wounded in Morris Heights. 

In a press conference outside the courtroom following the sentencing, John Miras, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case — and is currently prosecuting three other cases of youth victims of gun violence — stressed the urgent need for action, alongside District Attorney Darcel Clark.

“We’re losing a generation of our children, and this needs to stop,” Clark said.

Yambo’s family has found ways to keep her memory alive, including a street named after her and an educational foundation in her memory.

Now with the case concluded, the family told the Bronx Times that when it comes to their advocacy work, “We can be more outspoken” and apply pressure toward the Torres legislation and other efforts aimed at curbing gun violence.  

Another of Angellyh’s aunts, Alexandra Maruri, said the aforementioned shootings in the Bronx took her right back to the day her niece was killed.

“It seems like something is missing,” she told the Bronx Times. “We need more resources for the Bronx.” 

But her sister Hernandez — the slain teen’s aunt — said in the courtroom that despite the family’s pain and the complexity of fighting gun violence, “[Angellyh’s] legacy will bring change to the Bronx.”

Reach Emily Swanson at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes