A 14-year-old in Upstate New York this week admitted to viciously stabbing an 84-year-old retired schoolteacher to death in her apartment during a botched robbery earlier this year. Appearing in Onondaga County Court, Jahkim Robinson on Monday formally pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder for killing Eva Fuld in January, Syracuse NBC affiliate WSTM-TV reported.
Robinson, who lived just two doors down from Fuld, also pleaded guilty to one count each of first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery.
As previously reported by Law&Crime, Robinson and several others on Jan. 21 allegedly knocked on the door of Fuld’s Grant Village apartment. When she answered, they forced their way inside her home. Once inside Fuld’s apartment, the home invasion quickly turned violent. The horde of intruders is alleged to have viciously beat Fuld before Robinson stabbed her more than three dozen times, authorities said. Prosecutors accused Robinson of “stabbing or cutting the victim 43 separate times, causing injuries to her torso and extremities, resulting in her death.”
The defendant and his alleged accomplices then reportedly stole a number of Fuld’s belongings, including her car keys, vehicle, wallet, credit cards, and insurance cards. Robinson, however, is currently believed to be the sole murderer included in the group, according to Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.
The former French teacher, described by friends in a Syracuse Post-Standard report as “kind” and “quirky,” wasn’t discovered until four days after she the fatal stabbing.
“Some neighbors began to be concerned about her, her car was missing, so police contacted the landlord and did a check on her apartment, and they found a horrible scene,” Fitzpatrick said during a press conference after Robinson was arrested. Police reportedly said that Robinson was in possession of many of items stolen from Fuld’s apartment when he was taken into custody.
Robinson was initially charged as a youthful offender under the auspices of New York State’s Raise the Age rules. Those rules keep violent adolescent offenders away from adult populations and non-violent youth offenders while detained, but they are subject to the same criminal court proceedings as any other given defendant, according to Syracuse.com.
Because he was only 14 at the time of the murder, Robinson is facing a minimum sentence of 5 years to life in prison and a maximum sentence of 9 years to life in prison.
Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner in February described Fuld’s murder as “horrifying and disgusting.”
“There are things in this job that stick with you,” Buckner said the week after Fuld’s body was found and after the suspect was in custody. “I can tell you about cases in Louisville, in Little Rock, and in Syracuse that I will remember. This will be one that I will remember. My mother lives by herself, so I think about that kind of thing.”
Robinson is currently in custody at Hillbrook Detention Center, a small, 32-bed juvenile holding facility in Onondaga County.
He is scheduled to appear before Judge Matthew Doran in Onondaga County Court next month for his sentencing hearing.
[image via WSTM screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]