Life sentence in deadly pharmacy shooting

David Laffer, left, and his wife Melinda Brady pleaded guilty in September to charges related to an armed robbery.

Story highlights

  • David Laffer, 33, receives five life sentences; his wife is sentenced to 25 years
  • Judge asked that Laffer be put in solitary confinement
  • Four people were killed during robbery of N.Y. pharmacy on Father's Day
A New York man was sentenced Thursday to life without parole for killing four people at a Long Island pharmacy in June.
David Laffer, 33 and his wife, Melinda Brady, 29, pleaded guilty in September to charges related to an armed robbery on Father's Day at Haven Drugs. Laffer admitted fatally shooting two pharmacy employees and two customers before making off with a large quantity of prescription drugs.
He and his wife were arrested four days after the shooting in a violent confrontation with police, according to authorities.
Laffer was charged with five counts of first degree murder, one for each victim plus one for multiple victims, and four counts of criminal use of a firearm in the first degree.
"He was given a maximum sentence of life in prison on five counts of murder and 25 years for each count of firearms charge, one for each victim," said James Saladino, principal clerk for Judge James C. Hudson.
"There was no surprise. When he took the plea he was told that he will receive life without parole, and that's what happened," said Laffer's attorney, Eric Naiburg.
During the sentencing, Judge James C. Hudson said he saw no signs of remorse from Laffer and requested that the Department of Correctional Services place him in solitary confinement without privileges, said James Saladino, principal clerk for Hudson.
"The judge is powerless to enforce it, (he) can only make a recommendation," Saladino said.
Naiburg was skeptical that the request would be granted.
"My experience says that won't happen. Those things are for people like Gotti," he said, referring to the late mobster John Gotti. "They'll look at him closely and they'll do what is best for the Department of Correctional Services."
Brady, who had pleaded guilty to robbery in the first degree as an accomplice, was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison followed by five years of supervision. She has been in custody since June.
The pharmacy employees killed in the shooting were identified as Raymond Ferguson, 45, and Jennifer Mejia, 17. Mejia was just days away from her high school graduation. Also killed were Bryon Sheffield, 71, a customer who was inside the pharmacy, and Jamie Taccetta, 33, a customer who walked in on the robbery. She was the mother of two young girls.