Southampton Man Gets 25 Years for Murder

Michael Gaines was sentenced to 25 years to life for murder
Michael Gaines was sentenced to 25 years to life for murder Independent/ Courtesy Southampton Police Department

A Southampton man was sentenced Monday to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of killing a 43-year-old man during a burglary on the Shinnecock territory three years ago.

Suffolk County Judge Timothy Mazzei also ordered Michael Gaines to serve two additional sentences of 25 years in prison that will run concurrently for two counts of burglary.

A jury had found the 44-year-old man guilty of second-degree murder and burglary for the August 16, 2019 shooting death of Mtundu Vanterpool

Prosecutors said Gaines attacked the victim at a gas station in Holtsville, fled on foot and then broke into Vanterpool’s home five hours later, shortly before 6 a.m., when Gaines shot him three times in the abdomen in the bedroom he shared with his fiancé.

Vanterpool’s fiancé called 911 and tried to save him, but he ultimately died in her arms, authorities said. Gaines fled the state but was apprehended two days later in North Carolina.

Because Gaines is a prior felony offender, Mazzei also sentenced him to five years post-release supervision for each count of burglary.

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