16-Year-Old Charged in Soldier’s Death

A 23-year-old soldier also faces murder charges
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2021 5:10 PM CST
16-Year-Old Charged in Soldier’s Death
Hayden Harris   (U.S. Army via AP)

A 16-year-old boy has been charged in connection to the killing of Hayden Harris, an Army corporal stationed at New York’s Fort Drum who was found shot to death in New Jersey last month, NBC News reports. Also charged with felony murder and weapons charges is Jamaal Mellish, 23, an Army private out of Fort Drum. Firefighters in Byram Township discovered the body of Harris, 20, on Dec. 19 when they saw blood on a road during a holiday Santa ride event. "The top of the snow was stained with what appeared to be blood," Byram authorities said in a statement, per NBC. "During a search of the disturbed area in the snow, the victim’s body was found approximately 200 yards into the wooded area mostly buried under snow."

Prosecutors have said that Mellish and Harris met to exchange the latter’s Chevrolet Silverado for a Ford Mustang, per the New Jersey Herald, and a dispute may be why Mellish “abducted” Harris in the pickup and drove him more than 300 miles to Brooklyn and then some 50 miles further across state lines into Byram. The charged 16-year-old also was in the truck, authorities say. Mellish was being held in military custody in Oneida County, N.Y., per the Army Times. The unidentified teen was being held in a juvenile detention facility. (More murder stories.)

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