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Teen Pleads Guilty To Killing Man In Westchester Apartment Building

Trevon Major.
Trevon Major. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office

A 16-year-old has pleaded guilty to his role in the fatal shooting of a Westchester man in an apartment stairwell last summer.

Trevon Major of Greenburgh has pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree manslaughter and one count of criminal possession of a weapon, both violent felonies, following the death of Joseph Smith III in August last year, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. announced.

According to Scarpino, on Aug. 17, 2017, Major, his older brother and co-defendant Timothy Whitney robbed an individual - whose name was not released - at the apartment building they lived in on Manhattan Avenue in Greenburgh.

Following the robbery, the person who was robbed got into an argument with the three teenagers over the stolen goods in a hallway of the building, and Major came downstairs from his apartment, joined the altercation and threatened Smith with a gun.

Scarpino said the robbery victim’s mother came from her nearby apartment and pleaded with Major not to shoot her son. The robbery victim was able to leave the area and returned to his home in a neighboring building.  Moments later, Joseph Smith III, 46, the fiancé of the robbery victim’s mother, went to Major’s apartment. Smith knocked on the door. Major answered the door with a gun in his hand and shot Smith one time in the chest as Smith stood in the hallway.

According to Scarpino, a neighbor heard the gunshot and called the police, who responded and found a blood trail from Major’s apartment to the doorway of a nearby stairwell, where they found Smith unresponsive. Smith was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Major and his two cohorts remained inside their apartment until police arrived with a warrant. Scarpino said that police found the firearm used to kill Smith broken into several pieces, hidden around the apartment.

The cases against Major’s brother, Vance, and Whitney are still pending. Major faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 30. 

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