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March 28, 2013 -- Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Jawwad Abdul Halim (DOB 06/14/85) of 40 East Sidney Avenue, Mount Vernon, New York pled guilty today to two counts in the indictment that charged him with:

  • one count of Arson in the Second Degree, a class “B” Felony,
  • one count of Tampering with a Witness, in the Third Degree, a class “E” Felony.

On Feb. 12, 2012 at approximately 11:26 p.m. the defendant intentionally started fire in an apartment building at 43 Millington Street in Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon Police responded and commenced an evacuation of the building. The Mount Vernon Fire Department extinguished a fire that engulfed the entrance door to an apartment in the building. Trapped in the apartment at that time were three individuals.

The defendant set the fire in retaliation against an occupant of the building.

Surveillance cameras captured and recorded the activity that occurred outside and within that multi-family dwelling at that time.  

Detectives from the Mount Vernon Police Department launched an extensive investigation resulting in the arrest of the defendant.

While the defendant was in the Westchester County Jail he contacted and threatened a witness in the case.

“Witnesses are crucial to the prosecution of criminal cases. This defendant, a career criminal, jeopardized the lives of dozens of people by setting a fire in an occupied building in an attempt to intimidate, then after he was arrested, continued the behavior by threatening a witness not to testify. Hopefully by this defendant going to state prison for his actions, it will send a message to others that threats and intimidation will be immediately acted upon and prosecuted,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore after the defendant plead guilty.

Sentencing will be on May 23, 2013.

The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison.

Assistant District Attorney John O’Rourke Chief of the Major Case Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Laura Murphy of the Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case.


Jawwad Abdul-Halim

Jawwad Abdul-Halim


In compliance with Disciplinary Rule 7-107A of the Code of Professional Responsibility, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.