2 Arraigned In Shooting Death Of Harlem Hoops Star Tayshana Murphy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two suspects pleaded not guilty to various charges Tuesday in the death of high school basketball star Tayshana Murphy, who was gunned down in her Harlem apartment building last month.

Tyshawn Brockington and Robert Cartagena, both 21, entered their pleas to second-degree murder and other charges during their arraignment in the death of Murphy, an 18-year-old senior at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers and a nationally ranked basketball player.

Witnesses said Murphy’s Sept. 11 shooting death was linked to a long-running feud between two neighboring housing projects.

According to prosecutors, Brockington and Cartagena were overheard saying that they were going to “smoke” somebody from the Grant Houses, where Murphy lived.

Prosecutors said Murphy ran into her building when she saw them approaching and was shot three times.

Brockington and Cartagena fled to South Carolina and were arrested there.

The courtroom in Manhattan state Supreme Court was packed for Tuesday’s arraignment, with many of Murphy’s friends wearing her picture around their necks.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said afterward, “This senseless death is an example of what guns have taken from our communities. The Harlem community has tragically lost a young woman and promising athlete.”

Brockingon’s lawyer, Daniel Parker, said his next step will be to review the evidence including security videos.

Cartagena’s lawyer, Daniel Gotlin, said his client “says he didn’t do this and he intends to fight the case.”

Brockington and Cartagena
are being held without bail and are due back in court Dec. 20.

A third defendant, 24-year-old Terique Collins, has been charged with providing the gun to Brockington and Cartagena and has pleaded not guilty. He was not in court Tuesday.

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • pugphan

    If they’re guilty beyond any doubt, then life without parole, and if it was a malicious,
    vicious, evil, homicide- then let it be a life for a life. smokersodysseycom

  • VY

    The appropriate response for the people whose parents dragged them up instead of brought them up, is to either execute them as beyond redemption, or life in prison with no chance for parole. IF TRUE they killed somebody just to make a statement that their building, or block, or nieghborhood, is “badder” and more “tough” than another. And for those reasons they on purpose, and with fore thought they found a victum, hunted the victum down and on purpose killed that victum……………………just to show they can and will, because they are “tough guys”.
    They are garbage, not worth being called human, and they should be disposed of with the rest of our (society’s) garbage.
    What part of that don’t you understand.

  • S. Allen

    I wish, if it were possible, I had the power to return to life, the young lady who was shot. As difficult as this may be to hear, the guns themselves are not responsible. It seems likely that if guns were not the weapon at hand, then another would have been used. The men, young or otherwise, who pulled the triggers, who are seem devoid of the necessary emotional composition needed to have compassion for another’s life…THEY are responsible. For we, all of us, despite our upbringing, or physical environment, make a choice to harm or not harm others. For the choice they made, there should be consequences. I’m not really sure what an appropriate consequence is for taking someone’s life.

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