A 14-year-old boy in Upstate New York was arraigned for the murder of an 84-year-old woman in Onondaga County Court Tuesday.
By virtue of his being treated as a youthful offender, at least at this stage in the process, the defendant was able to receive a favorable bail determination — but not likely one he’ll be able to pay. Judge Matthew Doran set bail at $1 million cash or a $2 million bond.
Jahkim Robinson, who lived two doors down from Eva Fuld, is accused of forcing his way into the beloved retired teacher’s apartment in a January 2021 robbery that quickly went sideways. Per Syracuse.com:
Jahkim is being prosecuted under Raise the Age rules that keep him separated from adult inmates though adjudicated before the same judge as older defendants. That meant that Jahkim was escorted into court from a different door, though the appearance went as any other.
According to a grand jury indictment from late April, prosecutors accused Robinson of “stabbing or cutting the victim 43 separate times, causing injuries to her torso and extremities, resulting in her death.”
Authorities believe, however, that Robinson did not act alone. Rather, police say that a group of people collectively made their way into Fuld’s residence after she opened the door. The group, they say, proceeded to beat and stab the victim and then stole a suite of her belongings.
Police allege that many of those belongings, including Fuld’s car keys, vehicle, credit cards, insurance cards, and various wallets, were recovered from Robinson when he was arrested.
The former French teacher, who friends told the Syracuse Post-Standard was “kind” and “quirky,” wasn’t discovered until four days after she answered that last ever knock on her own front door.
“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,” Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said during a press conference after Robinson was arrested later that same night.
Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner called Fuld’s murder “horrifying and disgusting” in early February and, in a series of updates, has noted that the department’s investigation is ongoing.
“There are things in this job that stick with you,” Buckner said the week after Fuld’s body was found and 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 the only suspect, as police have yet to arrest any additional individuals over the shockingly brutal slaying.
The defendant also stands accused of an additional murder charge and one count each of robbery and burglary.
According to the terms of the indictment, Robinson is facing two second-degree murder charges based on the theory that he killed Fuld in the commission of two separate felonies: (1) robbery; and (2) burglary. He is also charged with liability as an accomplice and as a principal. But the distinction is equal parts academic and strategic.
If convicted, the U.S. Constitution prohibits a defendant from being punished twice for the same crime.
As a youthful offender, at least for now, the defendant faces the possibility of parole within five years of any potential conviction.
Robinson is currently in custody at Hillbrook Detention Center, a small, 32-bed juvenile holding facility in Onondaga County.
Fuld’s January obituary reads:
Eva Mae Fuld was found in her home on January 25, 2021. Born in Auburn, NY, Eva was the only child of Kate and Albrecht Fuld. Eva graduated from high School in Syracuse and followed with study at Goucher College in Maryland. She started her long teaching career and interrupted it long enough to study French at the Sorbonne and later, Spanish in Mexico City. She taught Languages at Westmoreland High School. After her long teaching career, she worked at Syracuse Library. She was an avid reader and enjoyed travel. She was preceded in death by both parents. No service is planned at this time.
A second similar murder is alleged to have been committed in Syracuse in May of this year. Victoria Afet, 23, is accused of murdering 93-year-old Concetta “Connie” Tuori by torturing her to death. Judge Doran is overseeing that “especially cruel and wanton” case as well.
[image via screengrab/CNY Central]
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