Virginia Man Sentenced to 20 Years to Life for 2021 Shooting Death of New Rochelle Cab Driver

Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced that a Virginia man was sentenced to 20 years to life in state prison for the 2021 fatal shooting of 62-year-old New Rochelle cab driver Andres Valenzuela.

DA Rocah said: “This defendant ruthlessly murdered a family man who was simply trying to earn an honest living. Our hearts remain with the victim’s family as they continue to heal following today’s sentencing.”

The defendant, Percell Ross Blakely, 54, who has prior felony convictions, pleaded guilty on Feb. 15 to Murder in the First Degree.

On Oct. 14, 2021, at approximately 2:46 a.m., the defendant used a .22 caliber firearm to shoot the victim two times while attempting to rob him on Main Street in New Rochelle. The victim, who was shot moments after he ended his shift, was transported to New Rochelle Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Following a multi-agency investigation led by the New Rochelle Police Department, the defendant was arrested on Oct. 17, 2021, at a residential building in Brooklyn. Police also recovered the murder weapon.

The FBI’s Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, the Westchester County Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center, the Covington Police Department in Virginia, and the Fairfield and New Haven Police Departments in Connecticut assisted with the investigation.

In a statement to the court, the victim’s daughter stated: “The Valenzuela Family cannot forgive you because you destroyed a family and because we believe in divine justice and human justice, which has been fulfilled today.”

The case was before State Supreme Court Justice James McCarty in Westchester County Court and prosecuted by Homicide Bureau Chief Lana Hochheiser and Senior Trial Counsel Brian Bendish, both of the Trials and Investigations Division. Senior Assistant District Attorney Catalina Blanco Buitrago assisted.