The people accused of Syracuse's 20th murder of the year are a group of teenagers, ranging in age from 15 to 19. All four were charged Thrusday. Our Katie Gibas has been following the case and has the latest.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The three older teens are being held in the Onondaga County Justice Center. Two are being held without bail and the other's bail was set at $50,000
The 15-year old has been sent to the Hillbrook Juvenile Detention Center.
Monday, this community was rocked by murder. Police say Marvin Bryant, 65, was loitering in the area of East Beard Avenue Monday evening, waiting to buy drugs. He was then robbed twice before being stabbed twice in the back.
"Regardless of why he was out there, he didn't deserve to be robbed. He certainly didn't deserve to be stabbed. And he absolutely didn't deserve to lose his life," said Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler.
Police say around 7:45 p.m. Monday, Tony Comer, 19, of Syracuse, robbed Bryant of his wallet. Police allege he then told Shakeith Stackhouse, 18, Jahmeer Stackhouse, 17, and a 15-year-old whose name is not being released, that Bryant still had money on him. Police say those three lured Bryant back to the area of East Beard Avenue and robbed him again. That's when police say Shakeith Stackhouse and the 15-year-old then stabbed Bryant in the back.
Fowler said, "It's a concern period when you have this type of crime, of course. But when you add the element of the age element where you're talking about teenagers. This is a big concern."
This is the highest number of homicides in Stephanie Miner's four years as mayor and Frank Fowler's four years as police chief. In 2009, there were also 20 murders. In 2008, there were 24.
"That would make this real easy if we could pinpoint the reason why all of this is occurring. But we can't because a lot of this is based on senseless behavior. And I can't stand here and rationalize that," said Fowler.
"Because there is no uniting trend, what we will continue to do is make sure we have the best police officers that can in our neighborhoods, establishing relationships with people, so that we can try to prevent these crimes before they happen," said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
The city has been working to secure grants to pay for additional crime cameras. Miner says the cameras will be put in areas where crime statistics show they're needed. But Fowler says despite having challenges in the area of East Beard Avenue, he wouldn't classify it as a particularly violent area.
Police say all four teenagers admitted to their role in the crime. They have all been charged with robbery. The Stackhouses and the 15-year-old are also charged with second degree murder.
At this point, the 15-year-old has been charged as a youthful offender. It will be up to a judge as to whether or not to continue to treat him as a juvenile.