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Suspect Accused of Killing Christina Yuna Lee Charged With Homicide

A 25-year-old man was arrested on homicide and housebreaking expenses on Monday, a day after the police mentioned he stabbed and killed a 35-year-old girl whom he had adopted into her constructing in Decrease Manhattan.

The suspect, Assamad Nash, whose final identified deal with was a males’s homeless shelter within the Bowery, was taken into custody on Sunday inside an house on Chrystie Avenue in Chinatown, the place the sufferer, Christina Yuna Lee, was discovered useless within the bathtub. He was scheduled to be formally charged in prison court docket on Monday night.

Ms. Lee, who graduated from Rutgers College in 2008 with a bachelor’s diploma in artwork historical past, labored as a artistic producer for Splice, a web based music platform primarily based in New York Metropolis.

“Our hearts are damaged,’’ the corporate mentioned in an announcement. “All the time devoted to creating stunning and inclusive art work, Christina is irreplaceable.”

Her household declined to touch upon Monday.

Ms. Lee’s killing stoked fears within the metropolis’s Asian neighborhood, which was already on edge after an increase in assaults throughout the pandemic. Although the authorities haven’t decided that Ms. Lee was focused due to her ethnicity, her dying comes lower than a month after a homeless man shoved an Asian American woman, Michelle Go, to her death in entrance of a subway prepare in Instances Sq. in a seemingly random assault.

There was no indication that Ms. Go had been focused due to her ethnicity: Minutes earlier than approaching her, the attacker had confronted one other feminine rider, who was not Asian, the authorities mentioned.

Martial Simon, a mentally ill homeless man, was charged with homicide after confessing to shoving Ms. Go, the police mentioned.

Mr. Nash proclaimed his innocence as detectives led him in handcuffs out of the Fifth Precinct station home on Elizabeth Avenue in Chinatown on Monday afternoon. “I didn’t kill anybody,” he mentioned. “I don’t know what’s happening.”

Ms. Lee’s killing match a sample that has grow to be an unsettlingly common function of pandemic New York Metropolis: a seemingly unprovoked assault during which the individual charged is a homeless man. In lots of neighborhoods in Manhattan, residents have expressed rising concern about homeless folks, a lot of whom appear to be combating psychological sickness, menacing and harassing passers-by.

Within the aftermath of the killing, prosecutors and judges are going through scrutiny over how they dealt with Mr. Nash’s earlier prison instances.

Mr. Nash, whose household declined to remark, had a string of arrests relationship to 2015 in New York and New Jersey on expenses together with assault, housebreaking and drug possession.

In January, he was charged with prison mischief and illegal escape; the police mentioned he was disabling MetroCard machines at a number of subway stations and tried to flee from a police van after his arrest.

The decide dealing with the case may have set bail on the escape cost, however prosecutors didn’t request it and Mr. Nash was launched underneath supervision, in line with court docket data. It’s not clear whether or not the request for bail would have been granted if the prosecutors had requested for it.

Mayor Eric Adams, who was in Albany on Monday assembly with legislators, was requested throughout a information convention whether or not Mr. Nash was a “poster little one” for the necessity to amend the state’s bail legal guidelines.

Mr. Adams rejected that suggestion. However the mayor, who has pushed for lawmakers to permit judges to set bail for individuals who they consider are harmful, mentioned the case deserved scrutiny as a result of Mr. Nash shouldn’t have been on the streets.

“We have to actually look at what occurred right here, the place did we fail,” he mentioned, earlier than calling once more to “shut the loopholes that permit harmful folks to be on the streets.”

At a vigil Monday morning, neighborhood organizers, staff and residents of Chinatown gathered throughout the road from Ms. Lee’s house and demanded that the town implement higher providers for the mentally sick and homeless.

Organizers on the vigil handed out fliers with a map and the phrases “no extra shelters” written throughout them.

“Ought to we be fearful each time we take a subway or each time we get on the road?” Mary Wang, one of many organizers of the vigil, mentioned.

Afterward Monday, roses and different memorabilia accrued outdoors Ms. Lee’s house, the place passers-by stopped to pay their respects.

Kristal Zhang, 31, and her accomplice, John Liu, 30, drove from Whitestone, Queens to go away a single white rose on the makeshift memorial. Ms. Zhang, an accountant who grew up in Chinatown, mentioned that younger Asian professionals have come to really feel susceptible it doesn’t matter what precautions they take.

“We work late, we take a cab residence, and it nonetheless occurs,” she mentioned, alluding to the best way Ms. Lee’s killer entered her constructing.

Jacky Wong, 45, a founding father of Involved Residents of East Broadway, which organized the vigil, mentioned he believed residents are at larger threat.

“The listing is getting longer and longer,” Mr. Wong mentioned. “We are able to’t see an finish.”

Mr. Wong mentioned that at a vigil final month for Asians who had killed or injured in latest assaults, he had carried an “empty flame” symbolizing that the following sufferer may very well be anybody.

“Sadly, it was Christina this time,” he mentioned.

Analysis was contributed by Susan C. Beachy. Reporting was contributed by Valuable Fondren, Chelsia Rose Marcius and Jeffrey E. Singer.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/14/nyregion/suspect-christina-yuna-lee-murder.html Suspect Accused of Killing Christina Yuna Lee Charged With Homicide

Fry Electronics Team

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