Suspects in basketball star murder held without bail

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Tyshawn Brockington (l.) and Robert Cartagena were arrested in connection with the murder of Tayshana Murphy. Photo courtesy Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

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By Ivan Pereira
Thursday, October 6, 2011 3:26 PM

The pair accused of coldly gunning down a Queensbridge native last month made their first appearance in court Wednesday to face their murder charges, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.

Robert Cartagena, 20, and Tyshawn “Ta-Ta” Brockington, 21, both of the Manhattanville housing projects in Harlem, were ordered to be held without bail by a Manhattan Criminal Court judge after they were charged with the second degree murder of high school basketball star Tayshana “Chicken” Murphy, according to a spokeswoman for the DA’s office. The pair, who were on the lam for more than a week following the Sept. 11 shooting, were extradited from South Carolina earlier in the day.

Murphy, 18, who moved to the Grant Houses projects in Harlem from Queensbridge years ago, was at the wrong place at the wrong time when Cartagena, Brockington and Terique Collins, 24, who also lived in Manhattanville, went into the Grant Houses to “smoke someone,” the DA’s office said.

The three followed Murphy and her friends inside one of the buildings around 4 a.m. and allegedly approached the girl and her entourage on a fourth floor stairwell, according to the DA’s office.

Murphy, who was a star basketball player at the Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers, told the suspects that she did not want trouble but one of the suspects responded, “I don’t give a (expletive),” before firing off three shots and killing her, the DA’s office said.

Collins was arrested soon after the shooting and charged with weapons possession.

While thousands mourned the girl’s death, Cartagena and Brockington fled the city but were found 10 days later by the NYPD’s fugitive task force in Columbia, S.C. The pair’s next court date is set for Oct. 18, a spokeswoman for the DA’s office said.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 3:30 pm and is filed under Breaking News, Crime, TimesLedger, Web Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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