Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that ELIJAH BILAL, a/k/a “Karate Kid,” pled guilty today to conspiring to commit a firearms crime in connection with the April 15, 2012 murder of Terrance Martin, 25, in the Bronx, New York. As part of his plea, BILAL admitted that he murdered Martin. BILAL pled in the middle of his jury trial before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken. BILAL also pled guilty to conspiring to tamper with witnesses who were expected to testify against him at trial.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Through his guilty plea, Elijah Bilal admitted that he shot and killed Terrance Martin. Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners, Bilal will be held accountable for his crimes.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment, other filings in this case, and statements during court proceedings:
On or about April 15, 2012, in a public courtyard in the Andrew Jackson Houses in the Bronx, New York, BILAL shot and killed Martin over a drug debt in connection with a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. BILAL killed Martin by firing a single bullet into the back of his head from approximately two feet away. Prior to trial, BILAL conspired from prison to disseminate the names of the witnesses who were expected to testify against him. His co-conspirator released the witnesses’ names on Instagram.
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BILAL, 30, of the Bronx, New York, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, one count of conspiracy to commit witness tampering, and one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Emily A. Johnson, Peter J. Davis, Thomas J. Wright, Adam S. Hobson, and Christopher Clore are in charge of the prosecution.