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Teen Sentenced For Her Role In Fatal Stabbing Of High School Student In Westchester

Z'inah Brown in court. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office
Valaree Megan Schwab, 16 Photo Credit: Contributed

An 18-year-old has been sentenced for her role in the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old New Rochelle High School junior last year.

Z'inah Brown received a 17-year prison sentence, followed by five years of post-release supervision after pleading guilty in Westchester County Court earlier this year to one count of first-degree manslaughter for her stalking and fatally stabbing Valaree Schwab on Jan. 10, 2018.

In court, Schwab's sister, Britney, read a statement on the impact Valaree’s death had had on her, her father, and other family members.

Speaking directly to Brown, she said, “Your violent rampage stole a third sibling away from me long before it was their time. I hope that her sudden, untimely death will never be used in a discussion as fuel for hate.

"I hope that, if anything, it can serve as a reminder for young people to find peaceful ways to resolve conflict and for families to hold their loved ones a little closer. I know Valaree would want us to bury hate and choose peace instead.”

Shortly after 12:20 p.m. on the day of the stabbing, New Rochelle police officers responded to Dunkin’ Donuts on North Avenue, where there were multiple reports of a fight involving several high school-aged students.

At the time of the assault, Schwab dropped her house keys and one of the teens picked up the keys, authorities said. Schwab then followed the group to Dunkin’ Donuts in an attempt to get her keys back when she was stabbed by Brown, according to investigators.

Video later released showed Schwab and a friend at Subway on North Avenue, briefly interacting with a group of seven people, including the three defendants. The group had reportedly been following Schwab for several blocks, harassing her

During the dispute, Schwab suffered two stab wounds to her torso from a steak knife. She was transported to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, but was pronounced dead there later in the afternoon.

When she pleaded guilty, Brown admitted that she intended to cause Schwab severe injuries. She was eligible for youthful offender status, but that was denied by a judge.

Two other teens involved in the fatal stabbing, Dominique Slack and Carl Booker, both pleaded guilty to first-degree stalking. Each was sentenced to “shock probation,” and were sentenced to be incarcerated in Westchester County Jail for six months.

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