Girl, 15, Appears in Bronx Court for Two Homicides

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeDeathJustice SystemMedina (Saudi Arabia)Homicide

Sharell Butler stood silently in Bronx Criminal Court late Saturdaynight, her slight build and young face betraying the serious chargesshe faces.

Prosecutors say the 15-year-old killed two men in a three-day span.

Butler, who according to court papers also goes by the name "Lady Red,"was indicted on 20 charges, ranging from second degree murder toburglary and assault in the deaths of John Hopkins-Drago andChristopher Umpierre.

Police said Sunday Butler is a member of the Bloods, a street gang, andhas two previous arrests for assault. Assistant District AttorneyJamiee Nadell said in court that Butler had been identified by separatewitnesses in each of the crimes.

Just after midnight on Dec. 21, Hopkins-Drago, 22, was stabbed to death in a Pelham Parkwayapartment, according to court documents. Butler was carrying a loadedfirearm as she repeatedly stabbed Hopkins-Drago in the company ofothers, according to the court documents.

Hopkins-Drago's body was discovered seven hours later stuffed in agarbage bag and stowed in a shopping cart in a nearby alleyway,according to police reports.

James Medina, 23, who was arrested Thursday morning in connection withthe stabbing, was accused of tampering with the crime scene.Prosecutors say that Hopkins-Drago was murdered in Medina's apartment.Medina was indicted on Friday and is expected back in court Monday

Two days earlier, on Dec. 19, Umpierre, 24, was shot once in the chestin his Dewey Avenue apartment during a robbery attempt. Prosecutorssaid they believe Butler fired the gun after breaking in to Umpierre'sapartment with other individuals. Umpierre later died from his wound.

Police say that they do not have other suspects in either killing.

In court, Butler appeared tired and disheveled, her right hand heavilybandaged, as Judge Stanley Greene ordered her to return to courtWednesday. Her attorney, Xavier Donaldson of Manhattan, would not say how her hand was injured.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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