Defendant: Vance Major (DOB 06/24/99)
Defendant: Timothy Whitney (DOB 08/20/98)

June 15, 2018 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced Vance Major and Timothy Whitney were sentenced Thursday in Westchester County Court on charges of Robbery and Hindering Prosecution related to the Aug. 17, 2017, killing of Joseph Smith III in a Greenburgh apartment building. A third defendant, Trevon Major, is serving a sentence of 15 years in prison for Manslaughter in Smith’s fatal shooting. 

Whitney will serve two to four years in state prison for Robbery in the Third Degree, a class D felony, and one-and-a-half to three years for Hindering Prosecution, a class E felony. Both sentences are to run concurrently (at the same time).

Vance Major will serve one year in Westchester County Jail for Robbery in the Third Degree and one year for Hindering Prosecution. Both sentences are to run consecutively.

The facts leading up to this homicide are as follows: On Aug. 17, 2017, at about 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot of 100 Manhattan Ave., an apartment building where Vance Major lived, Vance Major and co-defendant Timothy Whitney robbed an individual, forcibly stealing his neck chain and cellphone.

Soon thereafter, in the vestibule area of that building, the robbery victim argued with Vance Major and Timothy Whitney about getting his property back. Trevon Major, the 16-year-old brother of Vance, came downstairs from his apartment, joined the altercation and threatened the robbery victim with a gun. The robbery victim’s mother came from her nearby apartment and pleaded with Trevon Major not to shoot her son. The robbery victim was able to leave the area and returned to his home in a neighboring building. 

Moments later, Joseph Smith III, 46, the fiancé of the robbery victim’s mother, went to apartment 6K in 100 Manhattan Ave. (the home of Trevon and Vance Major). Smith knocked on the door. Trevon and Vance Major and Timothy Whitney were inside of the apartment. Trevon Major answered the door with a gun in his hand and shot Smith once in the chest as Smith stood in the hallway. A neighbor heard the gunshot and called police. The Greenburgh police immediately responded and saw a blood trail from the hallway outside the Major’s doorway to a nearby stairwell where they found Smith lying on the floor. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Trevon Major, Vance Major and Timothy Whitney remained inside the apartment until the police entered with a search warrant. Before police arrived, all three defendants took the gun apart and hid the pieces throughout the apartment. One piece was found in a bag of frozen chicken in the freezer; one piece was found in the back of the refrigerator; and one piece was found inside of an air conditioning unit. The three took the bullet that shot and killed Smith, which exited through his chest, and its shell casing and flushed them down the apartment toilet.

When the Greenburgh police crime scene officers entered the apartment with a search warrant, they found the three gun pieces in their hiding places.

ADA Lana B. Hochheiser, Deputy Chief, Homicide Bureau and ADA Jonathan Strongin of the Superior Court Trial Division prosecuted the case.

Timothy Whitney

Vance Major

Timothy Whitney Vance Major

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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