A New York City teenager recalled the “trauma after trauma” that he experienced when his mother was reportedly killed by her cousin, who impersonated her for financial gain.
On Wednesday, 23-year-old Khalid Barrow was sentenced to serve 25 years to life in state prison for the murder of his cousin.
Last month, a New York State Supreme Court jury found Barrow guilty of murder in the second degree, concealment of a human corpse, grand larceny in the fourth degree, and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.
Law enforcement determined that Barrow had “intentionally asphyxiated” Walcott in her apartment in East Harlem.
Barrow had been staying at Walcott’s apartment.
Newsweek reported, “He then bound her ankles with a Wi-Fi cord and hid her body in a plastic tub lined with fabric scraps that he placed in a storage room before scrubbing the apartment with bleach.”
Investigators said Barrow laid Walcott’s dead body in a plastic bin and moved it to the roof of her apartment building.
Barrow then reportedly used Nisaa’s credit cards to go on a week-long spending spree to purchase food, drinks, and marijuana.
Police questioned Barrow a week after he purportedly strangled his cousin to death. Just hours after being questioned by law enforcement, Barrow reportedly moved the container with the dead body to a sidewalk across the street from a storage facility in the Bronx.
Prosecutors said Barrow attempted to rent a car to take Walcott’s body to upstate New York on Feb. 18, but was unsuccessful.
On Feb, 23, 2022, a relative requested a photo from Walcott’s phone to ensure that she was safe. Barrow reportedly responded by impersonating Walcott on her phone and texting an old photo of Nisaa that was recognized by the relative.
The next day, Walcott’s relatives reported her missing after she had not been seen for a while.
On Feb. 25, 2022, a local resident spotted a leg in the bin and called the police.
Prosecutors said surveillance camera footage captured Barrow transporting the bin out of Walcott’s building in the early hours of Feb. 25, 2022, and later unloading it on the sidewalk.
Barrow also allegedly posed as Nisaa and wrote text messages to relatives and coworkers from Walcott’s cell phone to make it seem like his cousin was still alive and well. One of the people that Barrow messaged was Nisaa’s 14-year-old son – Omir Walcott.
The New York Post reported, “Omir Walcott cried as he delivered the wrenching impact statement to a Manhattan courtroom, leaving in tears moments before convicted murderer Khalid Barrow — who didn’t even bother showing up to the hearing — was hit with the maximum sentence.”
“I felt fooled when I found out that I thought that the memory of my mother was kept alive by his text messages,” Omir tearfully said in court. “I feel horrible inside…it was my fault. I let this man think that he was my mother…that he could get one over on me — and he did.”
“It’s been trauma after trauma,” Omir expressed. “It’s like it’s digging at my skin like someone’s nails just scratching.”
Barrow “repeatedly manipulated” Omir through text messages. He asked Omir for the PIN for Walcott’s electronic benefit transfer account and instructed him to leave the door unlocked.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement, “The defendant’s criminal conduct was an unspeakable betrayal.
“Khalid Barrow strangled his cousin in her own home, all for his own financial gain,” Bragg continued. “I am amazed by the resiliency of Nisaa Walcott’s family members, who have persevered through the horrific murder of their loved one by her own cousin. They attended the trial every single day, listening to incredibly disturbing testimony.”
He concluded, “No sentence can undo this family’s pain, but I hope they continue to heal from this terrible loss.”
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