“With all due respect, and from the bottom of my heart, suck my dick!”
That was the message convicted killer Zaire Paige had for Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice yesterday afternoon as he was sentenced to four consecutive 25-to-life sentences that will keep him behind bars for at least 107 years.
The thing is, as this week’s Village Voice cover story will show, Paige’s conviction for murdering a man in a Brooklyn hair salon and his court outbursts aren’t the most interesting thing about him. Just months before he committed the murder, the Crips gangbanger played a killer on a movie set in the Don Cheadle film Brooklyn’s Finest.
Local media noted Paige’s long sentence and his court behavior, but very little has been written about how he managed to play a murderer on the big screen, filming his scenes just a few months before he gunned down someone in real life.
The Voice‘s story, which will appear on our website this evening and in tomorrow morning’s paper, has interviews with Brooklyn’s Finest director Antoine Fuqua, actors in the film such as The Wire‘s Hassan Johnson, and with the technical consultant who brought Paige onto the film, Randy Eastman. Each reveal how much Paige made an impression on the set, charmed his fellow actors, and had many believing he was on the verge of some sort of stardom.
Paige has maintained his innocence in the brutal 2008 slaying of Lethania Garcia in a hair salon in Brooklyn, but in court yesterday he didn’t do much to promote that idea.
“This whole trial, y’all been sucking’ each other off. I’m sorry I didn’t get my dick sucked,” Paige said when Del Giudice asked him if he had any statement to make.
“Whatever happened to y’all, it’s bad,” he said to the victims, who included a couple of women who were in the salon and were hit by stray gunfire. “But I don’t feel sorry ’cause I didn’t do it.”
Out in the hallway, Paige’s grandmother Bettie railed against what she called a police conspiracy to frame her grandson. Meanwhile, a group of about 20 NYPD officers gathered in the hallway to give one another a victory speech. “This is why we do our jobs,” the captain told the group.
Paige himself spoke to the Voice at length about his background and his experience on the Brooklyn’s Finest set. (He would not discuss the murder charges, saying that he plans to appeal his conviction. He also says he is no longer affiliated with the Crips.)
Check the website tonight for the lengthy cover story about Paige’s squandered shot at a very different kind of life, “Shoot to Kill.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 25, 2011