By Randi Love
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York City man accused of stabbing a pair of homeless men, one of them fatally, in Manhattan parks was indicted on three counts, including one count of second-degree murder, the Manhattan district attorney said on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old suspect, Trevon Murphy, has been held without bail since he was arrested on July 13 in the stabbings of the men, one of whom survived. He is also charged with attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree.
Murphy approached the victims on two separate nights last month while they were sleeping on benches in parks in different sections of Manhattan, according to a statement from Alvin Bragg, the district attorney, who said the suspect gave a full confession to the attacks. He told authorities that he chose to stab both victims in the lower abdomen.
Murphy is suspected in the stabbling of a third homeless man but the grand jury has yet to indict him in the connection with that incident, the New York Post reported.
“These chilling attacks were committed against some of our most vulnerable community members,” Bragg said in the statement. “It is unbelievably tragic that someone lost their life simply because they did not have the safety that comes with a roof over their head.”
The stabbings were the second case involving attacks on homeless people in New York City this year. In March, Gerald Brevard III, 30, was arrested in Washington, D.C., after allegedly shooting five victims, two in New York.
Before the July attacks, officials said Murphy had been arrested and released in April on his own recognizance after he attacked a sleeping roommate in a homeless shelter in the New York borough of Queens.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Diane Kiesel ordered a mental health exam for the suspect at the request of defense attorneys after his indictment, the New York Post reported.
(Reporting by Randi Love in New York; editing by Richard Pullin)