The Staten Island jail officer charged with second-degree murder for the brutal August 2000 shooting of his former girlfriend —fueled by his anger over child support — was convicted last week following a two-and-a-half-week jury trial.
Christopher “Noel” Clavell, 48, who worked with the Department of Correction at Rikers Island at the time of the murder, has been held without bail since his arrest in April 2011.
According to trial testimony, the victim, Barbara Perez, 32, was an assistant manager of The Power Factory, a gym that had been located in Ridgewood. One of her responsibilities was to open the gym at 6 a.m.
On Aug. 11, 2000, at approximately 7:15 a.m., a gym member found Perez dead on the floor in the rear of the facility.
Clavell had shot Perez, the mother of his then 2-year-old child, nine times — once in the chest and eight times in the head.
During the trial, presided by Supreme Court Justice Joseph Zayas, it was revealed that several months prior to the murder, the commissioner of Social Services had commenced a proceeding in Family Court for child support for Perez and Clavell’s son.
While Perez fully cooperated with the proceedings, Clavell did not and grew very angry.
He repeatedly harassed and confronted Perez about the child support. She told family members that Clavell said he would sooner kill her than give her any money to help support their child.
“The defendant has been convicted of fatally shooting the mother of his young child,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a release. “For nearly 13 years he managed to escape justice, but thanks to the hard work of the NYPD’s Queens Homicide Squad and my own Homicide Investigations Bureau and their refusal to let this case grow cold, justice has finally been achieved for the victim and her family.”
Sentencing for Clavell is set for June 27. He faces 25 years to life in prison.