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18-Year-Old Indicted for Allegedly Stabbing Girlfriend to Death During an Argument Over a Call She Received

Zyaire Crumbley

Zyaire Crumbley

An 18-year-old New York man has been indicted for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death over a phone call she received.

Defendant Zyaire Crumbley and victim Saniyah Lawrence, 16, were at an acquaintance’s apartment in the Central Harlem neighborhood on Dec. 11, and they got into an argument over a call that Lawrence got, according to a press release from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The argument escalated to him allegedly stabbing her in the neck, authorities said.

“CRUMBLEY attempted to leave the apartment with the victim’s phone,” the statement from Bragg’s office said. “When Ms. Lawrence tried to take her phone back, CRUMBLEY refused and told her, ‘get back or I’ll stab you.’ CRUMBLEY and Ms. Lawrence struggled over the phone during the fight in the apartment before CRUMBLEY stabbed the victim in the neck. He fled the apartment with the knife and her phone.”

Lawrence was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital about one hour later from the stab wound.

Crumbley is charged with murder in the second degree and robbery in the first degree, the DA’s office said.

“Saniyah Lawrence’s young life was tragically cut short by this shocking crime allegedly committed by her boyfriend,” Bragg said in a statement on Tuesday. “My thoughts are with Ms. Lawrence’s family and loved ones as they experience this unimaginable pain.”

A funeral and celebration of life service was held on Dec. 20.

Relatives of Lawrence told reporters that they were in shock over Lawrence’s death.

Zyaire was originally arrested and charged within days of the slaying.

“Incidents of domestic violence can be reported to our Office’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 212-335-4308 or by visiting the Manhattan Family Justice Center at 80 Centre Street,” the D.A.’s office said. “Help is available for those in need, regardless of immigration status.”

According to the CDC, teen dating violence (TDV) is relatively common. A 2019 survey indicated that about 1 in 12 high school students in the U.S. experienced physical dating violence, and about 1 in 12 experienced sexual dating violence in the previous year.

[Mugshot via NYPD]

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