Kadeem Wilkinson, now 21, was just a teenager when he was accused of stabbing Dwight Brathwaite to death. Photo courtesy of the DA’s Office
FLATBUSH, BROOKLYN — A young Flatbush man has been convicted of first-degree manslaughter for fatally stabbing 26-year-old Dwight Brathwaite, also of Flatbush, after a fight inside a fried-chicken restaurant at 1341 Flatbush Ave. back in winter 2013, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Kadeem Wilkinson, 21, stabbed Brathwaite because he had been flirting with his girlfriend inside the restaurant, according to prosecutors.
(The DA’s Office said the fight occurred inside a Chicken Shack located at 1341 Flatbush Ave. However, the restaurant currently situated at that address is a Kennedy Fried Chicken. A spokesman with the DA’s Office was not able to clear up the discrepancy.)
“This defendant senselessly took a life over a silly argument,” Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said Thursday. “He made a terrible decision and will now spend many years behind bars because of that.”
Wilkinson could spend up to 25 years behind bars for the alleged crime of passion.
Here’s what went down at the Flatbush fried-chicken shop on the night of Dec. 6, 2013, according to the DA.
The defendant, his girlfriend and a stranger, Dwight Brathwaite, 26, were inside Chicken Express at 1341 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. After leaving the restaurant, the defendant returned and confronted Brathwaite about flirting with his girlfriend moments earlier. An argument ensued and it escalated into an altercation outside the restaurant.
The defendant then ran to his nearby home, grabbed a knife, came from behind the victim, who was walking toward his house, the evidence showed, and stabbed him in the back at about 12:45 a.m., outside of 531 East 26th Street.
Surveillance video presented during the trial captured the moment Wilkinson darted in and out of his house that night, the DA said Thursday, as well as the moment he stabbed Brathwaite.
The convicted man’s girlfriend is also said to have testified against him in court, telling the jury Wilkinson admitted to her that he stabbed Brathwaite in a jealous rage.
News reports from the time of the attack indicate NYPD detectives were initially stumped as to a possible suspect and motive.
In the wee hours of Dec. 7, police reportedly found Brathwaite “unconscious and unresponsive” on the concrete in front of his home, bleeding from a deep stab wound to his neck. He was declared dead soon after at Kings County Hospital in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.