April 18, 2006

John Broderick Hehman Rugrat Robbery Update

Some background on the case here.

The latest: Four Teens Formally Charged In NYU Student's Death:

The four teens accused of chasing an NYU student to his death during a failed robbery attempt in Harlem earlier this month were formally charged in connection with the case Monday.

The teens - two 13-year-olds and two 15-year-olds - appeared in Family Court, where they were hit with a series of criminal charges, including felony murder, second-degree manslaughter and two counts of attempted robbery.

Despite the harsh allegations, the boys are being tried as juveniles facing a maximum of five years behind bars. Under New York law, a 13 year old cannot be charged with a felony so that boots out the cases of two defendants. The other two 15 year olds can be tried for a felony but only for completed crimes (i.e. not for attempt nor conspiracy, etc.) In this case, the grand jury found that the robbery was not completed since the victim fled the scene before the defendants could obtain his property. Ergo, second degree murder and robbery charges are whittled down to robbery to be tried in family Court. The worst they'll get? Five years. Does a robbery charge jive with this?

One of the teens suspected of trying to rob an NYU student who was killed in traffic while fleeing the gang told cops he robs for kicks - not money, a city lawyer said yesterday.

The revelation came as a Manhattan Family Court judge refused to release the four Harlem teens from a secure detention center to the custody of their families. The city lawyer, Laurie Smith, said that the boys, two 13-year-olds and two 15-year-olds, "got together that day and decided to 'do someone,'" noting that the April 1 crime was spontaneous.

The four are accused of attacking Broderick John Hehman, 20, on 125th St. by grabbing him in a bear hug and punching him in the head. When Hehman broke free, they allegedly chased him into the street, where he was hit by a Mercedes-Benz and thrown into the air. He died four days later.

Smith said the boys laughed after the car accident. One of them, whom she did not identify, told cops he doesn't "do robberies for money, but for entertainment," Smith said.

The Reality Check.org hears from one of NYC's finest who aint buyin it:

One NYPD police officer said, on condition of anonymity, "This is a travesty. These street punks are getting a slap on the wrist. They did complete a felony -- assault -- when they grabbed the student and punched him. They just didn't want to throw the book at these kids."

He also said, "They didn't want to charge them with a bias crime because they don't want the [crime] stats to show a black-on-white bias crime. You can be sure if the roles were reversed -- if it were a white-on-black incident --it would have been treated as a bias crime," he said.

Other takes:

New York Post: Priest Cries for NYU Kid


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