Advocates call on DA to upgrade charges against teen accused of fatally stabbing Mount Vernon teen, wounding a second
Family and lawyers are calling on Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah to upgrade the charges against the 15-year-old accused of fatally stabbing a Mount Vernon teen and wounding another girl during a brawl last month.
"We believe that the charges may not fit the crime in this situation," said Lauren Raysor, an attorney and spokesperson for one of the victim's families.
The 15-year-old suspect pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, assault and attempted assault, but the families of Kayla Green and Mainece Simpson want her to face charges of murder and attempted murder.
"My daughter's life has changed forever and I want justice," said Nicole Duncan, Mainece Simpson's mom.
The fatal incident unfolded shortly after the city celebrated the Mount Vernon Varsity Men's basketball team's state championship on April 8.
A vicious fight broke out between around a dozen teen girls a few blocks from city hall on East Prospect Avenue between North 3rd and Gramatan avenues.
Green died on the way to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx as police tried to give her CPR in the back of a police car. An ambulance wasn't able to get to the scene in time.
Simpson's injuries were severe but not life-threatening.
"When you stab someone, you're stabbing to kill," said Nazarene Duncan, Mainece Simpson's great aunt.
Still, her family worries about the mental scars it will leave.
"Mainece's wounds will heal but what she's going to remember about her friend is for life," said Nazarene Duncan.
The suspected stabber was allegedly part of a rival cheer team and issues had been bubbling between the two groups for two years, according to spokespeople for the victims.
The Mount Vernon City School District came under fire for failing to address the issues before they boiled over.
Parents had called for former Superintendent of School Dr. Kenneth Hamilton to step down following the incident. He eventually took medical leave for the rest of this school year. Hamilton previously announced he was leaving this summer to become the Superintendent of the Edgemont School District in July.
A spokesperson for the Westchester DA's office told News 12, "We have no comment at this time."
"We hope that the Westchester County district attorney avenges Kayla and Mainece by bringing maximum justice," said Richard Thomas, former Mount Vernon Mayor and spokesperson for the Green family.