Sean Salley and Andre Smith: Where Are Carnegie Deli Killers Now?

Oxygen’s ‘New York Homicide: Carnegie Deli Murders’ follows the murder of three people in an apartment above Broadway’s Carnegie Deli in early May 2001. The case quickly caught media attention due to one of the victims being a former actress. However, the authorities were quick to nab the perpetrators with help from security surveillance and public help.

Jennifer Stahl, Stephen King, and Charles Helliwell Were Shot While Chilling in Their Apartment

Jennifer Stahl was born to Robert and Joyce Stahl in Titusville in Mercer County, New Jersey, on April 11, 1962. The blond, blue-eyed, thin, and extremely photogenic woman was from an affluent family living on the picturesque hamlet along the Delaware River, about 15 minutes north of Trenton. While her father, Robert, ran a company that distributed packaged foods, her mother was involved with the Princeton Ballet School. However, Jennifer shifted to New York with a dream most artists arrive in the Big Apple with — to make it big.

Heather Lea Gerdes, who became acquainted with Jennifer through a dance class, recalled her as a rebellious spirit consistently at odds with her family’s desires. She stated, “Jennifer wanted to have fun all the time, but she secretly also wanted to be a star.” Their paths crossed again in 1986 on Eighth Avenue, where Jennifer mentioned an audition for dancers in the movie “Dirty Dancing.” Consequently, they both secured roles as “dirty dancers,” adding depth to the film’s sensual dancing sequences involving Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

However, beyond her minor part in “Dirty Dancing,” her acting career encompassed forgettable roles in likewise forgettable movies. These included roles like Cat in “Necropolis” (1986), Mindy in “Firehouse” (1987), and Woman with Professor Bob in “I’m Your Man” (1992). Over time, Jennifer withdrew from the Actors Equity union and embarked on a journey involving marriage, divorce, familial disagreements, and a shift towards a singing career. A former boyfriend mentioned her transforming a room in her apartment into a soundproof recording studio.

On May 10, 2001, the 39-year-old former actress was chilling at her apartment with four friends — a hair stylist named Anthony Veader, 37; Rosemond Dane and Charles Helliwell III, both 36; and Stephen King, 32. Anthony had worked on the sets of movies like ”Men in Black” (1997), ”8MM” (1999), and the CBS soap opera, “Guiding Light.” The West 48th Street also peddled his skills as a hairdresser, reportedly had several private clients, and was constantly on call. Rosemond and Charles were dating each other and had just arrived that day.

The couple arrived from St. John, Virgin Islands, for a wedding in New Jersey. Rosemond, hailing from Morristown, New Jersey, owned jewelry, Indonesian imports, and beach gear stores. She had a budding romance with Charles, who belonged from Harwich, Massachusetts, and established a music production company before moving to the Virgin Islands in 1998 to pursue a captain’s license. Stephen of 20 West 64th Street, originally from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, was a talented trombonist, bodybuilder, and dedicated musician.

His passion for recording his original rock music was evident as he carried his guitar to Jennifer’s apartment, an endeavor he was passionately devoted to. As his father, Philip King, noted, Stephen’s excitement and diligence in this endeavor were palpable as he relentlessly poured his efforts into his musical aspirations. The five individuals were chilling in Jennifer’s apartment five stories above the Carnegie Delicatessen in Midtown when two intruders barged in and fatally shot Jennifer, Charles, and Stephen.

Police Identified Suspects Pretty Quickly

Around 7:27 pm, two visitors ascended the staircase to Jennifer’s apartment, exhibiting no urgency and making no effort to obscure their faces from the surveillance camera. She greeted them at her door, addressing one as Sean. One of the men directed her into the recording room while his partner instructed Anthony and Stephen to lie on the floor. The second man proceeded to bind his hands and feet with duct tape. Jennifer urged the perpetrators to take money and drugs and avoid causing harm.

Amid this chaos, Anthony, still in the process of being bound, heard a gunshot. “Why did you have to shoot her?” the man busy with the duct tape inquired. Subsequently, Rosemond and Charles emerged from another room, ordered to the ground and similarly restrained. Anthony, as recounted by the senior investigator, then heard rapid gunfire, including the shot that struck him in the head. Charles and Stephen instantly died, while Jennifer succumbed to her injuries shortly after.

Anthony and Rosemond, possibly due to the gunman’s haste, survived. The assailants swiftly left the apartment, avoiding any conspicuous rush down the stairwell. One of them carried a backpack, though it remains unclear whether they brought it along or took it from the apartment. Exiting the building, they turned onto West 55th Street, vanishing down the stairwell leading to the N and R subway line. The video evidence revealed their entire presence in the apartment building lasted less than six minutes.

Responding to the 911 call from the injured Anthony, the police encountered a scene in stark contrast to the lively ambiance on the street: death, injury, marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, and around $1,800 in cash within a suitcase. While Rosemond remained in serious but stable condition at Bellevue Hospital Center, reports suggested that the emotional toll was evident. Anthony recovered at the Manhattan campus of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, reflecting his relief at being alive amid the harrowing ordeal.

The next day, the police announced two suspects: Andre Smith, then 31, and Sean Salley, then 29. Andre turned himself in a couple of weeks later, but Sean remained on the run for several months. The police apprehended him in Miami after ‘America’s Most Wanted’ broadcasted his photo. Salley was arraigned on August 3, 2001. Because both perpetrators accused each other of committing the crime, two separate simultaneous trials were held with two different juries. Sean claimed he wanted to score some weed from Jennifer, but Andre pulled a gun on him and forced him to participate in the robbery.

Sean Salley and Andre Smith Are in Jail Today

During the hearing, the court learned how Jennifer used to deal weed on the side for some cash. Sean admitted to “accidentally” shooting Jennifer but claimed Andre deliberately shot the other four victims to cover up the crime. Andre maintained it was just a case of mistaken identity. He was nowhere near the crime scene, let alone participated in armed robbery and murder. On June 2, 2002, both men were convicted of three counts of second-degree murder — one conviction each for the deaths of the three victims.

They were convicted of second-degree murder instead of first-degree because the prosecution could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt who fired the gun. On July 30, 2002, they were sentenced to three consecutive terms of twenty-five years to life. Sean, now 51, is serving his sentence at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility and will be eligible for parole in 2095. Andre, now 52, is incarcerated at the Sullivan Correctional Facility and will be eligible for parole in 2086.

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