Plea Deal Concludes Case of Taxi Driver’s Death in Hillcrest Drive-By Shooting

Six years after taxi driver Rem Louis was fatally shot in a drive-by incident on West Eckerson Road in Hillcrest, the case has taken a new turn. Hakeem Gentles, 28, from Spring Valley, was sentenced on Tuesday morning by Judge Larry Schwartz to a prison term of 1 1/3 to three years. This sentencing follows Gentles’ guilty plea on October 17 to a felony charge of fourth-degree conspiracy related to Louis’ shooting.

Originally charged with second-degree murder, which carries a potential sentence of 15-to-25 years to life, Gentles saw this charge dismissed in a plea agreement. The Rockland District Attorney’s Office made this decision after a key witness withdrew their cooperation.

The incident, dating back to July 17, 2017, involved Gentles driving a car from which the actual shooter, still at large, fatally shot Louis. According to Ramapo police, the shooter had aimed at one of the two passengers in Louis’ cab, rather than Louis himself. The drive-by shooting was executed from a white 2004 Toyota Camry, with at least two occupants. Louis, who was not on duty as a taxi driver at that time, suffered a gunshot wound to the head and subsequently crashed his vehicle into a tree.

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