Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Tandika Wright was arraigned on murder, arson and other charges in the death of a neighbor found inside a burning New York City Housing Authority apartment with numerous lacerations about her body.

District Attorney Katz said: “We will seek justice for the brutally murdered victim in this case. The defendant will be held accountable for the charges against her.”

Wright, 35, of Mother Gaston Blvd. Brooklyn, was arraigned on a five-count complaint charging her with two counts of murder in the second degree, manslaughter in the first degree, arson in the second degree and assault in the second degree. Judge Danielle Hartman ordered the defendant to return to court on March 29. If convicted, Wright faces 25 years to life in prison.

According to the charges:

  • On December 9, 2021, between 6:30 p.m. and 7:10 p.m., Wright was inside the apartment of a neighbor, Lavina Nolley, in a NYCHA development in Long Island City, at 40-11 12th Wright cut Nolley multiple times with a sharp object and set the apartment on fire. Firefighters responding to the scene discovered Nolley’s body and immediately transported her to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Assistant District Attorney Timothy Shortt of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case 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 Shawn Clark.

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

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