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Teen To Be Indicted For Murder In Fatal Westchester Movie Theater Stabbing

Michael Pettiford, 16.
Michael Pettiford, 16. Photo Credit: Yonkers Police Department

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A Westchester County teenager is expected to be indicted on Monday on charges that he allegedly fatally stabbed another teenager at a Yonkers movie theater earlier this year.

According to reports , 16-year-old Michael Pettiford is expected to be indicted on charges of murder, manslaughter, robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon Monday in Westchester County Court.

At approximately 12:45 a.m. on April 15, police were dispatched to the Ridge Hill Movie Theater on Fitzgerald Street in Yonkers, where there were reports of a fight that ended when someone was stabbed at the conclusion of a movie.

Upon arrival, police located 19-year-old Yonkers resident Daij Asante Thomas, who had suffered a stab wound to his chest, police said. Thomas was transported to a local hospital for treatment, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Detectives with the Major Case Squad and Crime Scene Units conducted an extensive investigation, which determined that Pettiford was a person of interest. Police arrested Pettiford on Wednesday, charging him with one count of second-degree murder.

According to police, the entire altercation began when Pettiford approached Thomas and engaged him, grabbing his cell phone, which resulted in the fight that ended with the fatal stabbing.

Pettiford was arraigned in Yonkers in April and remains remanded to the Westchester County Jail.

“This arrest following this tragedy is another example why we have the finest Police Department in the country,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said at the time of his arrest. “Thank you to Commissioner (Charles) Gardner and the detectives assigned to this case for all their attention to detail and hard work.”

At the time, Garnder added that he “would like to warn those who choose to commit violent crime in his city that (police) will leave no stone unturned and will use all of their resources to hunt them down and hold (criminals) accountable for their actions.”

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