Man Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter For 2022 Fulton Houses Shooting

Osvaldo Merrero confessed to shooting Anthony Holley in the back of the head on November 27, 2022, prosecutors with the Manhattan D.A.’s office said. Holley, 45, died in the hospital. He had allegedly pistol-whipped Merrero shortly before the shooting.

| 10 Jun 2024 | 02:32

A man has plead guilty to manslaughter for shooting 45 year-old Anthony Holley in the back of the head outside of Chelsea’s Fulton Houses on November 27, 2022, killing him.

According to prosecutors with the Manhattan D.A.’s office, 35 year-old Osvaldo Merrero had been pistol-whipped by Holley moments before, after tensely waiting for the latter man to come back from the store. It was around 9:30 p.m.

Merrero then gave chase to Holley, prosecutors said, eventually shooting him from behind in retaliation. He reportedly fired one round from 30 ft. away. Holley was pronounced dead at the hospital, while Merrero was able to avoid arrest until December 19, 2022. The authorities apprehended him at a friend’s apartment in Harlem. According to the Daily News, Merrero quit his job and drained his bank account in a bid to avoid police detection. He also used an app to scramble his phone number.

Holley’s sister, Tashey Holley, told the News that her brother had been trying to kickstart a career in rap music after a stint in prison. “He was in the studio saying he wanted to take it serious this time and pursue it, until this happened,” she said. Holley left behind two children.

Merrero is expected to be sentenced on August 1. He will face up to 16 years in prison, plus five years of supervised release.

In a statement addressing the guilty pleas, Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg said that “Osvaldo Marrero was held accountable for killing Mr. Holley as he walked away. We are working hard to address gun violence through proposing legislative fixes, investing in our communities and getting serious drivers of violence off our streets.”

Nonetheless, CompStat crime figures for the 10th Precinct–which encompasses the Fulton Houses–show crime on the decline. Specifically, overall crime rates in the area have dipped by 11.38 percent since 2023. On a two-year basis, overall crime rates have still trended downward by 7.51 percent, and shootings are down by 50 percent. There have been no murders in the area either this year or last.

Chelsea’s Fulton and Eliot-Chelsea residential complexes have incidentally been embroiled in NYCHA demolition plans, despite notable opposition from both its residents and high-profile advocacy groups such as the Legal Aid Society. The companies Related Co. and Essence Development initially proposed the idea, which was voted by said residents on June 2023. Some of them told Chelsea News that they felt misled. 70 year-old Maria Moneira claimed that “the people sign without reading and without knowing what the paper says...they are not going to do this in 2 or 3 months, this will take years.”

The housing agency wants to replace the combined 2,056 units of the complexes with two high-rise towers, which would ostensibly re-house the displaced tenants. As of last fall, the average rent was under $700.

The Fulton Houses, located between W. 16th & 19th Sts. on one end and 9th & 10th Aves. on the other, were opened in 1965. Whoopi Goldberg and members of the Wayans family grew up there. They are named after Robert Fulton, who created the first commercially available steamboat.