June 19, 2017 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced today that Michael Pettiford (DOB 02/26/01) of 26 Rollins St., Yonkers, NY was arraigned on an indictment today before Judge Helen Blackwood and charged with

  • one count of Murder in the Second Degree, a class “A-1” Felony,
  • one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class “B” Felony,
  • two counts of Robbery in the First Degree, class “B” Felonies,
  • two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, class “A” Misdemeanors

in the death of Daij Thomas (DOB 10/02/97).

On April 15, 2017, at approximately 12:44 a.m., the defendant approached the victim who was seated in the lobby of the Showcase Cinema de Lux Ridge Hill in Yonkers. He began to question the victim and then challenged him to a fight.

The victim declined the invitation to fight. That is when the defendant grabbed the victim’s cellphone out of the victim’s hand. The victim then chased after the defendant in an attempt to get his phone back. A struggle ensued during which time the victim was stabbed once in the chest.

The defendant placed the victim’s phone in his pocket and exited the movie theater. The victim collapsed to the floor indicating that he could not breathe. EMTs arrived on the scene and made efforts to save the victim’s life. He was transported to a local area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Two knives were recovered at the scene. On April 18, 2017, Yonkers detectives were able to locate the defendant and he was placed under arrest at an apartment on Yonkers Avenue. A search warrant was obtained for that apartment and evidence was collected.

The defendant pled not guilty.

His remand continues.

The defendant faces twenty-five years to life in state prison.

His next court date is July 12, 2017.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Strongin of the Superior Court Trial Division.


Michael Pettiford

Michael Pettiford


In compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.6, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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