FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Brooklyn Fugitive Indicted for Murder, Burglary of Manhattan Chef
Victim was Stabbed Multiple Times; Defendant Set Fire to Cover Up Crime
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Brooklyn teenager has been indicted on charges of murder, burglary and arson stemming from the January stabbing death of a popular Manhattan chef inside his home in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. The defendant was apprehended in Virginia after four months on the run.
District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant broke into a home to burglarize it and ended up brutally stabbing a hardworking family man who was sleeping after an evening of work. Once a fugitive of justice, he’s now back in Brooklyn, where he will face justice for killing an innocent man.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Jahkeem Scott, 18, of 222 Logan Street, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree arson, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count with which he is charged. His next court date is August 12, 2016.
The District Attorney said that, according the investigation, on January 22, 2016 at approximately 9 a.m., the defendant allegedly entered the victim’s home through a window on the first floor. The victim, Romulo Heras, 61, was a nighttime chef at Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village in Manhattan and was home asleep at the time.
The defendant, allegedly intent on committing a burglary, stabbed the victim multiple times about the body, neck and head. Prior to leaving the apartment, the defendant stole numerous items from the victim’s home, according to the investigation.
Surveillance video footage from inside the apartment building depicts the defendant carrying a laundry bag of items as he leaves the victim’s building, the investigation revealed.
To cover up the burglary and resulting murder, the defendant allegedly set fire to Heras’ apartment. The victim’s body was discovered by members of the Fire Department of New York responding to the fire.
The defendant fled to Virginia after the crime and was apprehended in May 2016.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Phyllis Chu of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Kenneth Taub, Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.