Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that ELIJAH BILAL, aka “Karate Kid”, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit a crime related at gunpoint in connection with the April 15, 2012 murder of 25-year-old Terrance Martin in the Bronx, New York. As part of his plea, BILAL admitted to murdering Martin. BILAL pleaded in the middle of his jury trial before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken. BILAL also pleaded guilty to conspiring to tamper with witnesses who were to testify against him at trial.
US Attorney Damian Williams said: “Through his guilty plea, Elijah Bilal admitted to shooting and killing Terrance Martin. Through the efforts of our law enforcement partners, Bilal will be held accountable for his crimes.
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment, other documents filed in this case and statements made during the court proceedings:
On or about April 15, 2012, in a public court at the Andrew Jackson Houses in Bronx, New York, BILAL shot and killed Martin for a drug debt related to a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. BILAL killed Martin by firing a single bullet in the back of his head from about two feet away. Before the trial, BILAL conspired from prison to broadcast the names of witnesses who were to testify against him. His co-conspirator posted the names of the witnesses on Instagram.
* * *
BILAL, 30, of Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess a firearm in pursuit of a drug trafficking felony, to one count of conspiracy to commit forgery witnesses and one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
Mr. Williams praised the exceptional investigative work of the NYPD.
The case is being handled by the Bureau’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 charged with the prosecution.