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Four Plead Not Guilty In Oceanside Fatal Assault Of Teen

Javonte Neals Photo Credit: Nassau County Police
Marquis Stephens Jr. Photo Credit: Nassau County Police
Sean Merritt Photo Credit: Nassau County Police
Taj Woodruff Photo Credit: Nassau County Police
The Brower Avenue strip mall in Oceanside where Khaseem Morris was fatally stabbed. Photo Credit: Google Maps
VictimKhaseen Morris Photo Credit: Facebook

Four teenagers have pleaded not guilty to their roles in the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Khaseen Morris outside a Long Island strip mall.

Javonte Neals and Marquis Stephens, Jr., both 18, and Sean Merritt and Taj Woodruff, both 17, were arraigned and pleaded not guilty to second-degree gang assault for the fight that left Morris, a new student at Oceanside High School, with a fatal stab wound.

All four saw their bond continued at $25,000 and those with passports were ordered to surrender them to the court as a precaution. Two other teenagers are also facing charges.

Lido Beach resident Tyler Flach, 18, has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing Morris outside the Oceanside strip mall that acted as a popular place for local students to congregate.

Flach has pleaded not guilty and remains remanded to an area jail without bail.

The massive after-school brawl broke out at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16 at the popular strip mall on Brower Avenue, police said. During the fight, Morris was fatally stabbed in the chest, and a 17-year-old was hospitalized with a broken arm and swelling to his head.

Morris died shortly before midnight on the night of his stabbing.

Police investigators believe that the fight was over a girl who may have been dating Morris. The girl was reportedly not Flach’s ex-girlfriend, but someone else involved in the brawl.

In total, there were between 50 and 70 witnesses watching the attack at the scene, police said, though few offered an assist, with several instead shooting video and posting on social media.

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