WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced that 17-year-old Michael Pettiford of Yonkers, pled guilty to the 2017 stabbing death of Daij Thomas at the Ridge Hill Movie Theater in Yonkers.
Pettiford pled guilty before Judge Barry Warhit to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class “B” Felony, and one count of Robbery in the First Degree, a class “B” Felony.
According to Scarpino, on April 15, 2017, at approximately 12:44 a.m., Pettiford approached the victim who was seated in the lobby of the Showcase Cinema de Lux Ridge Hill in Yonkers. He began to question the victim and then challenged him to a fight.
The victim declined the invitation to fight. Pettiford then grabbed the victim’s cellphone from his hand. The victim then chased after Pettiford in an attempt to get his phone back. A struggle ensued during which time the victim was stabbed once in the chest.
Pettiford placed the victim’s phone in his pocket and exited the movie theater. The victim collapsed to the floor indicating that he could not breathe. EMTs arrived on the scene and made efforts to save the victim’s life. He was transported to a local area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Two knives were recovered at the scene. On April 18, 2017, Yonkers detectives were able to locate Pettiford and he was placed under arrest at an apartment on Yonkers Avenue. A search warrant was obtained for that apartment and evidence was collected.
Pettiford faces 18 years in state prison when he is sentenced on Mar. 21, 2018.