Suspects in Murder of Tayshana Murphy Waive Extradition

By Jeff Mays on September 23, 2011 7:39am 

Robert Cartagena (left) and Tyshawn Brockington (right), seen here in their booking photos, were taken into custody in Columbia, SC, on Sept. 21, 2011 in connection with the murder of Harlem basketball star Tayshana Murphy.
Robert Cartagena (left) and Tyshawn Brockington (right), seen here in their booking photos, were taken into custody in Columbia, SC, on Sept. 21, 2011 in connection with the murder of Harlem basketball star Tayshana Murphy.
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Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

HARLEM—The two men captured in South Carolina for the murder of Harlem basketball star Tayshana Murphy could soon be on a flight back to New York.

Curtis Wilson, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff's Office, said Tyshawn Brockington, 21, and Robert Cartagena, 20 waived their extradition Thursday and could be head back to the city immediately.

The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment.

Police say Brockington and Cartagena allegedly shot Murphy three times — in the chest, hip and arm — after chasing her down in the Grant Houses at about 4 a.m. on Sept. 11.

Rick Long, the Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for the South Carolina District said the two men were in Columbia, S.C. hiding in a closet when more than a dozen officers, including some from New York City, descended upon the building at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Police say the men were arrested without incident. One of the men is believed to have a girlfriend in the area, police sources said.

Murphy, a senior at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers in lower Manhattan, was affectionately known as "Chicken" because she was bowlegged. Several college basketball teams had already begun recruiting the teen, one of the top-ranked high school point guards in the country.

Police believe a long-running feud between rival crews at the Grant Houses and the nearby Manhattanville Houses might have led to the shooting. The Murphy family has denied suggestions that the shooting may have been retaliation for an earlier assault involving Murphy's brother.

Community leaders have called for an end to the feud.

A third suspect, Terique Collins, 24, was arrested at his apartment in the Manhattanville Houses in connection with the shooting. Police say he was allegedly  seen by eyewitnesses passing a gun to the shooters before the incident.
Surveillance video from the Grant Houses that night also allegedly showed Cartagena and Brockington with guns in their waistbands, according to police.
Collins was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on drug charges in 2009, but was released after only serving a year. He was arrested twice more after being released for that offense, yet he was still not made to serve out his full 3 1/2 year sentence.
Collins' lawyer James Kilduff has said his client had no involvement whatsoever with the Murphy murder.

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