Two men from Freeport have pleaded guilty for their roles in the shooting death and robbery of a Long Beach man who had just received a settlement check of $55,000.
Eric Baldwin, 27, pleaded guilty on September 5 before Judge Terence Murphy to charges of second-degree murder, an A-I felony; two counts of first-degree robbery, a B violent felony; second-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all C violent felonies. Corey Grier, 29, pleaded guilty on August 31 to first-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Baldwin faces up to 25 years to life in prison on the murder charge. NCDA has recommended 23 years to life in prison. Baldwin is due back for sentencing on November 13, 2023. Grier is scheduled to be sentenced to 20 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision on October 5, 2023.
On September 10, 2021, James Diamond, 28, and a friend, drove to a law firm in Long Beach to pick up a check for $55,000 that Diamond was awarded as part of a lawsuit. After receiving the check, the pair picked up Grier and drove to a check cashing business. Grier then directed them in their vehicle to South Bay Avenue in Freeport and Diamond and his friend left to attempt to deposit the cash at a nearby bank.
Grier allegedly called Baldwin and Todd Brant to meet him at South Bay Avenue. Baldwin, Brant, and Akeem Chambers drove to South Bay Avenue to meet up with Grier.
When Diamond and his friend returned to the location, Baldwin and Chambers allegedly took Diamond and his friend out of their vehicle at gunpoint. A struggle ensued, and Diamond was shot once in the chest by Baldwin. Baldwin took Diamond’s bag filled with cash and fled. Diamond was later pronounced deceased at South Nassau Communities Hospital.
Chambers and Brant are being prosecuted federally for this murder and other violent crimes.
On November 3, 2021, Baldwin was arrested by NCPD Homicide detectives in East Meadow and Grier was arrested by NCPD Homicide detectives in Bay Shore.
“James Diamond had more than $50,000 in cash on him when these defendants lured him to Freeport, where he was robbed and shot once in the abdomen,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. “Mr. Diamond was a talented tradesman and aspiring musician who had his entire life in front of him. We extend our condolences to the Diamond family and his many friends in Long Beach and beyond.”