Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Jeremy Arrington, 31, of a triple murder. He was convicted of murdering a female college student as well as two children.
The two children, Ariel Little Whitehurst, a seven-year-old, and her 11-year-old brother, Al-Jahon Whitehurst, were stabbed to death by the defendant.
The third victim, Syasia McBurroughs, 23, an adult female, was shot to death.
Late yesterday, following a ten-day jury trial before the Honorable Ronald D. Wigler, J.S.C., Arrington was convicted of 28 counts, including the three counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, burglary, criminal restraint, unlawful possession of a handgun, unlawful possession of a knife, and possession of a firearm and a knife for an illegal purpose.
At trial the State presented 25 witnesses, including 9 expert witnesses, and successfully argued that on the afternoon of Saturday Nov. 5, 2016 Arrington unlawfully entered the Whitehurst home located in the 100 block of Hedden Terrace in Newark while armed with a loaded firearm.
The proofs revealed Arrington then tied up the individuals located inside the apartment and proceeded to torture them by stabbing them with kitchen knives.
The stabbings resulted in the death of the two children.
The defendant then shot and killed the adult female. The children were pronounced dead at University Hospital and the adult female was pronounced dead at the scene.
Emergency medical personnel were able to save three of the stabbed victims.
The surviving victims of the stabbings included a 29-year-old female, a 13-year-old male and a 13-year-old female, who are twins.
According to Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab, who tried the case with Assistant Prosecutor Chelsea Coleman, the police were able to respond before more lives were lost as a result of young girl with autism who escaped and called for help from her phone in a closet.
“The loss of three lives and the anguish caused by this defendant is unfathomable,” said Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Edwab.
Arrington subsequently fled the scene before the police were able to apprehend him. Shortly before 8 p.m., on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016 Arrington was discovered barricaded in a residence in the 200 block of Pomona Avenue and stated he had a hostage.
Police discovered that the hostage allegation was false and Arrington was arrested without incident.
The attack was apparently prompted by a comment on Facebook.
“We are forever grateful to the courageous survivors and witnesses who testified as well as the investigative personnel who helped bring this defendant to justice. Hopefully this verdict will bring some form of justice to all of the families and friends affected by this defendant’s horrific actions” stated Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Edwab
Sentencing is scheduled for April 8 before the Judge Wigler. Arrington faces multiple life sentences.