Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced the indictment of Jabari Burrell who was arraigned today on murder charges in the stabbing deaths of his grandmother and two other relatives in their Springfield Gardens home last month.

District Attorney Katz said: “This is a heartbreaking tragedy. The defendant is alleged to have turned on three family members who had opened their home to him, his grandmother and two aunts, one of whom was disabled by cerebral palsy.  They were defenseless against his brutal rage. He fled but was extradited and will now face justice.”

Burrell, 22, of East 103rd Street, Brooklyn, was arraigned on an eight-count indictment. The defendant is charged with three counts of murder in the first and second degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Justice Kenneth Holder set the defendant’s return date for January 18.  He faces up to life without parole in prison if convicted.

According to the indictment, on Thursday, November 17, Burrell visited the residence of his grandmother and two aunts near the intersection of 182nd Street and 146th Drive in Springfield Gardens. On November 18, at approximately 9:00 a.m., a relative and a health aide entered the residence and discovered Ms. Gordon lying dead on the floor of a bedroom with multiple stab wounds to her body. In another bedroom, 25-year-old Patrice Johnson was discovered lying dead in her medical bed, with 65-year-old Hyacinth Johnson lying dead nearby on the floor, both of whom were also stabbed multiple times. After the brutal attacks on his aunts and grandmother, Burrell allegedly fled the scene in his grandmother’s minivan.

Investigators later recovered blood-stained knives from the bathroom, the kitchen sink and from a kitchen drawer. Knives were additionally discovered in Ms. Gordon’s bedroom and the living room.

At approximately 2:00 p.m. on November 19, Virginia State Police arrested Burrell in Ms. Johnson’s van on the side of Interstate 95 in Prince George County, Virginia.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Christopher D’Antonio of the New York Police Department 105th Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Thomas Scalise of the Queens North Homicide Squad.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Zawistowski of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Koo, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter McCormack III and John W. Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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