STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Latiff Dudley had worked hard to turn his life around and provide for his 4-year-old son.
And though employed by Amazon and enrolled in a dentistry program at St. Paul’s School of Nursing, the Graniteville resident never got a chance to fulfill his dreams.
Just 26, Dudley’s life ended on Feb. 20, 2021, when Arthur Williams gunned him down in Stapleton, authorities said.
Dudley was dating a woman whom Williams, 45, had previously courted, Dudley’s grieving mother said Monday at Williams’ sentencing hearing in state Supreme Court, St. George.
And that spelled his doom, she said.
Consumed by a “jealous, blinding rage,” Williams, a Concord resident, “stalked, ambushed and murdered” Dudley in cold blood, Shaylene Dotts told the defendant.
“Mr. Williams, your consistent harassment caused my son to constantly look over his shoulder. My son tried to protect himself from you, Mr. Williams, but his attempt failed,” said Dotts, who fought back tears. “My son’s life got snatched away by your hands with no remorse.”
“My heart and soul is forever broken,” she said.
Later, a woman in the audience wailed, “No, no! I can’t.”
Justice Mario F. Mattei sentenced Williams, a repeat felon, to 15 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision under a plea agreement to first-degree manslaughter.
The judge said it was a “very complicated case.”
Before imposing sentence, Mattei asked Williams if he wished to say anything.
The defendant rose quickly from his chair at the defense table and turned to Dudley’s kin in the audience.
“My condolences to your family, to your son, to your brother, to your cousin,” said Williams. “As I stand today, it was either him or me.”
He said nothing else.
Dudley was killed in the mid-afternoon.
Emergency officials first became aware of the episode at 3:25 p.m.
At that time, they received a report of a person injured in a motor vehicle accident on the 300 block of Van Duzer Street, an NYPD spokesman previously said.
Authorities said they found Dudley in the driver’s seat of a 2016 black Infiniti which had crashed into an unoccupied car at that location. He had two gunshot wounds to the torso, said officials.
The victim was taken to Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton and was pronounced dead at 4:53 p.m., the spokesman said.
On investigating, cops determined Dudley had driven about a mile to Van Duzer after Williams shot him in the chest on the 100 block of Osgood Avenue at about 3 p.m., according to police and a criminal complaint.
Williams also fired multiple shots at two individuals a short distance away on the 100 block of Laurel Avenue, the complaint said.
The gunfire was sparked by an argument over a woman, a source with knowledge of the investigation previously told the Advance/SILive.com.
After the shooting, Williams lit out north.
He managed to evade authorities for three weeks until they tracked him upstate to Syracuse and busted him on March 12, 2021.
Then-Police Commissioner Dermot Shea credited detectives in the 120th Precinct and the Regional Fugitive Task Force with finding Williams.
When detectives interviewed him on his return to Staten Island, Williams asked them, “What am I being charged with,” said prosecutors’ court filings.
The defendant was indicted on charges including second-degree murder, attempted murder, attempted first-degree assault and criminal weapon possession.
He resolved the case by pleading guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter.
In a statement after the plea hearing, District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said: “This defendant’s violent actions resulted in a tragic loss of life, but this guilty plea will ensure he is held accountable with significant time in prison.”
“My office will continue to prosecute gun crimes to the fullest extent of the law based on the facts and evidence of each case and we remain committed to ensuring those who spread gun violence in our communities suffer serious consequences,” said McMahon. “At the same time, no one should ever have to lose a loved one to gun violence and that is why my office’s Victim’s Services Unit is here and always ready to provide support and resources to individuals and their families who have been victimized by others.”
He added: “Our condolences remain with this family as well as all families affected by gun violence on Staten Island, and we remain dedicated to making our communities safer for all.”
Assistant District Attorney Brendan Tracy prosecuted the case.
Attorney Michael Cirigliano represented the defendant.
Williams has a criminal record dating to 1995, show online records of the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Over the years, he has served three prison stints for drugs, those records said.
More recently, in 2012 Williams was sent upstate for up to three years for attempted criminal weapon possession, said those documents.