Accused killer of Croton Falls teenager in court for felony hearing

Just hours after the funeral of a Croton Falls teenager, mourners crowded a North Salem courthouse as the accused killer faced a judge for a felony hearing Thursday.

According to police, 27-year-old Ariel Menendez strangled and stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend, 17-year-old Elizabeth Butler. Butler?s parents found her body in the family?s SUV in the parking lot of the deli where she worked.

A state police investigator told the court Menendez said he went to Butler?s home the night before the murder and stayed in his car, then followed her to work the next morning. He adds Menendez says the two fought before he killed her in a jealous rage for breaking up with him.

Menendez could get 25 years to life if convicted of second-degree murder. The case against Menendez will now move to a grand jury. Menendez remains at the Westchester County Jail.

Related story Suspect in fatal stabbing of 17-year-old makes appearance in North Salem court

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