Tag Archive | "murder"

Killer nabbed by ‘tix fix’ cop pleads out, NY Post

A Bronx murder suspect whose arresting officer was caught on a wiretap fixing a ticket took a plea deal yesterday before a jury was selected
, New York Post reports.

Careem Johnson, 25, copped to manslaughter and accepted 25 years in prison for killing José Arvelo, 18, in Mott Haven in 2008.

It was initially speculated that Johnson — charged with second-degree murder — might walk because the cop who arrested him, Detective Jason Allison, was caught on wiretap allegedly trying to void a summons for a cop’s relative.

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The Wall Street Journal reported Man arrested in the death of 3-year-old child

Late Friday night, Kenneth Williams, 27, was arrested for the murder of 3-year-old India Durant. Williams was the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother and was watching her on the morning she died. Williams claims Durant was not feeling well so he placed her in a chair where she later fell off and began to have a seizure. He called 911 to reported Durant unresponsive.  She was pronounced dead at Barnabas Hospital later that morning. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Williams was charged with murder in the second-degree, manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment late last night. Durant’s biological father is looking for answers and mourning the loss of his daughter. “I am deeply upset. I am hurt,” he said. “I lost my world. That was my only child.”

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McKinley Houses Reflect on Murder Conviction

The Rev. Wallace Diamond has lived at the McKinley Houses, a public housing project on East 161st Street, for 47 years. During that time, he has presided over the funerals of five young victims of gang violence. In August 2006, he buried the last two, 25-year-old Leonard Crocket and 20-year-old Jason Semidey, who were killed in a gang-related shooting in the complex’s basketball courts.

The basketball court where Leonard Crocket and Jason Semiday were shot to death, in August 2006. Photo by Alice Speri

On Tuesday, Gavin Murray, a Bloods gang member with a history of violence, was convicted of both murders.

Murray, who was 18 at the time of the incident, was arrested in June 2009 at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. He was charged with murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon and is also awaiting trial in relation to two earlier shootings. He faces up to life in prison.

For Diamond, who is also the president of the tenants association at McKinley Houses, the 2006 shooting marked a turning point in the community.

“The night that this happened I just got tired,” Diamond said. The next day, he summoned local authorities and community members, and led a demonstration to the site of the shooting.

“We took back our project,” he said. “Before, you couldn’t go in there because drug dealers had taken it, the kids couldn’t play there.”

“It’s quiet now, very quiet, no more drug dealers, nothing like that,” Diamond said, adding that more police have been patrolling the area. “The children are allowed to play out there.”

At the McKinley Houses, in Morrisania not everyone remembers the August 2006 shooting.

At the McKinley Houses, in Morrisania, not everyone remembers the August 2006 shooting. Photo by Alice Speri

Since then, Diamond has been mentoring local young people.

“They call us the OGs, the old guys,” he said of himself and other older residents who have been working to improve communication with the younger generation. “I earned their respect; they talk to me.”

Diamond has also helped Angela Griffin, the aunt of one of the victims, set up a foundation in his memory. The Jason Semidey Foundation, located at the nearby Forest Houses on Trinity Avenue, offers GED classes and assistance with resumes and job interviews.

“I knew Jason very well, he grew up with my kids, I used to encourage him to get a job,” said Diamond, adding that just two days before being shot, Semidey had started a job as a maintenance worker.

Diamond said that Semidey’s death has encouraged his friends to get jobs. “Something good came out of it,” he said. “He’s never gonna be forgotten.”

Some in the neighborhood, however, have forgotten the incident or moved on.

“I hate to be so nonchalant about this stuff,” said Daisy Hassel, a 30-year-old resident of the Forest Homes. “But I don’t remember that happening.”

There were 113 murders in the Bronx in 2009 alone, nearly a quarter of the total for the entire city. The number, however, shows a 14 percent decrease over the last four years.

“It’s not anything different from what happens in this area,” said Earl Childs, the program director at the McKinley Homes Community Center. “People get shot, life goes on.”

“Bloomberg says things are getting better,” Childs said. “But if you ask people around here, things are not getting better.” Childs also disagreed with Diamond about the increase in police presence.

“I don’t remember when is the last time I saw a cop around here,” Childs said.

Like Diamond, however, Childs refuses to give up and continues to mentor young people at the housing project, as he did before Crocket and Semidey were killed.

“The way we address this is to provide these kids with something else to do,” he said.

“We are talking about kids that live a life of hopelessness, there’s no way out; they think, I need to pick up a gun.” In a sense, Murray was a victim of this, too, Childs added.

To keep the memory of the victims alive, Diamond organizes a memorial event every Aug. 16 – the anniversary of the shooting – with candlelight vigils and a basketball tournament on the very court where Semidey fell to the ground.

But Childs says more has to be done.

“All programs are gonna have to work together,” he said. “All branches of the government, all youth services, the board of education.”

Diamond agreed.

“There’s gotta be more than a candlelight vigil,” he said.

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Highbridge Man Charged with Murder in Girlfriend’s Death

By Selamawit Gebrekidan and Dan Lieberman

Anthony "Nova" Jimenez's gaffiti  lines many walls on Nelson Avenue in Highrbidge, Bronx. Photo by Selamawit Gebrekidan

Anthony "Nova" Jimenez's graffiti lines many walls on Nelson Ave. in Highbridge, Bronx. Photo by Selamawit Gebrekidan

On Nelson Ave. in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, one side of a rundown store bears the markings of a graffiti artist, who, in blue paint, signed this tribute one month ago:  “Nova loves Anna.”

Last Sunday, Nova – Anthony Jimenez, 30 – was arrested for the murder of Anna Radzimirski, 25, his girlfriend of four years, who was fatally shot in the head and chest, according to the police.

The night before, Jimenez and his friend Jordan Miles, 17, were playing video games in the cramped second floor apartment the couple shared at 1066 Woodycrest Ave., according to Miles. Just before midnight, Jimenez was on the phone with another friend trying to comfort the caller, as Radzimirski slept in the same room.

“He started talking about how things is going to be alright,” Miles remembered. “He said ‘God is great,’ over and over again, and then it got to the point that he was screaming.”

This woke Radzimirski, who complained to him about the noise and tried to calm him down, according to Miles.  She then spoke to a friend on the phone about how Jimenez was not the same person, and that she could “see it in his eyes,” Miles said.

Suddenly, Jimenez grabbed his silver gun, cocked it and shot Radzimirski in the head, according to Miles.

“After he shot her, my eyes were on the gun and my reflex was to grab it,” Miles said on Monday pulling down his sweatshirt to show his bandaged arm and bite marks. He said that he tackled Jimenez and they both tripped over the narrow stairs in the house to the first floor. The gun went off again and grazed Miles on his left arm. Finally prying the gun out of Jimenenz’s grip, Miles ran the two blocks to his basement apartment at 1149 Nelson Ave. and called the police.

Miles was taken to Lincoln Hospital on Saturday night after sustaining a gunshot wound on his left arm. Photo by Selamawit Gebrekidan

Miles was taken to Lincoln Hospital on Saturday night after sustaining a gunshot wound on his left arm. Photo by Selamawit Gebrekidan

Neighbors had different accounts about the night. Hassan Toure, 19, who lives on the first floor, said he heard two shots in the apartment and another down the street. Two other tenants in the two-story apartment said they didn’t hear a single shot.

Toure said that the couple spent a lot of time together and dressed alike in large sweaters and polyester pants. He said that every day, the couple drove off with a heavyset man, who Toure said was Radzimirski’s father.  He would pick the couple up in a white van to take them to work, Toure said.

On Saturday night, Toure was frying plantains in his tiny kitchen on the first floor when he overheard the arguments through the thin walls. Thinking they were fighting over “small stuff,” because they were usually quiet, he ignored the noise and went on to watch a movie but soon heard two gun shots.

“I would never think that this would happen between those two because they were too sweet together,” he said.

According to neighbors, all seven tenants at the Woodycrest Ave. apartment recently moved in after the landlord parceled the single-story, one-family apartment into five separate units in November. Tenants on the second floor share a kitchen downstairs where numerous signs beg for silence and cleanliness. The couple moved in early December. Another neighbor, who asked for anonymity, said she remembered overhearing the couple fight many times.

Friends and neighbors said that Jimenez had a history of drug abuse with a predilection for PCP or “Angel Dust”– a habit they said his girlfriend shared.

Despite his repeated shouts of “God is great,” Miles said, Jimenez was not religious.

According to Toure, Jimenez liked to smoke in the small foyer by the front door. He also brought a lot of friends to the apartment which, Toure said, might have led to a burglary at the couple’s apartment a month and a half ago.

Jimenez was arraigned on Sunday for second degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and second degree assault. He is now at Riker’s Island prison waiting for his first day in court scheduled for Friday.

On Tuesday, the second floor room was sealed by police and a dripping green paint on the door read “Slime Time.”

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