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Yonkers Teen Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter In Fatal Movie Theater Stabbing

Michael Pettiford, 16.
Michael Pettiford, 16. Photo Credit: Yonkers Police Department

A Westchester County teenager has pleaded guilty for his role in a fatal stabbing at a Yonkers movie theater last year.

Yonkers resident Michael Pettiford, 16, has pleaded guilty to felony counts of manslaughter and robbery after being indicted on murder charges last June, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. announced on Friday.

At approximately 12:45 a.m. on April 15 last year, police were dispatched to the Ridge Hill Movie Theater on Fitzgerald Street in Yonkers, where there were reports of a fight that ended when someone was stabbed at the conclusion of a movie.

Upon arrival, police located 19-year-old Yonkers resident Daij Asante Thomas, who had suffered a stab wound to his chest, police said. Thomas was transported to a local hospital for treatment, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Detectives with the Major Case Squad and Crime Scene Units conducted an extensive investigation, which determined that Pettiford was a person of interest. Police arrested Pettiford, charging him with one count of second-degree murder. Two knives were also recovered at the scene.

According to police, the entire altercation began when Pettiford approached Thomas and engaged him, grabbing his cell phone, which resulted in the fight that ended with the fatal stabbing.

Pettiford is due to be sentenced on March 21, when he will face up to 18 years in prison.

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