Thirty-one-year-old Jeremy Arrington was convicted on March 4 for killing several members of a family in Newark, New Jersey, in 2016 over a Facebook post.
A sentencing hearing for Arrington is scheduled for April 8. He faces life in prison after being convicted of murdering the two siblings and McBurroughs, as well as three counts of attempted murder. He was also convicted of burglary, a weapons charge and criminal restraint.
According to authorities, Arrington broke into the home and tied everyone up in the house on Hedden Terrace. He shot Syasia McBurroughs, 23, to death and fatally stabbed two children, Al-Jahon Whitehurst, 11, and his sister, 8-year-old Ariel Whitehurst, with kitchen knives.
Arrington also stabbed 13-year-old twins and a 29-year-old woman, who all survived. The 29-year-old woman is reportedly the mother of the siblings who were killed. Prosecutors said the attack happened after one of the victims posted a warning about Arrington on Facebook. Arrington had been a suspect in a sexual assault case where someone was shot, and one of the victims shared a warning post on Facebook.
McBurroughs was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the acting prosecutor of Essex County, Theodore N. Stephens II, another child hid in a closet during the attack and was able to alert the police.
“Police were able to respond before more lives were lost as a result of a young girl with autism who escaped and called for help from her phone in a closet,” said Stephens. “The proofs revealed Arrington (then) proceeded to torture them by stabbing them with kitchen knives. The attack was apparently prompted by a comment on Facebook.”
The police later caught Arrington after a standoff at a Pomona Avenue home. Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab released a statement noting how courageous the survivors of the attack were while testifying and thanked investigators.
“We are forever grateful to the courageous survivors and witnesses who testified as well as the investigative personnel who helped bring this defendant to justice,” said Edwab.