EDGEWATER, N.J. -- A dispute over how their drug business operated sparked an argument that left a 16-year-old Rockland boy dead after he was stabbed in Edgewater by the the son of a former New York City mayor's aide, an assistant prosecutor told a judge in Hackensack on Tuesday.
Khari E. Noerdlinger, 19, of Edgewater, owed money to Savion Lewallen of Spring Valley when he stuck a knife seven inches into his leg, puncturing his femoral artery, around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer said during an initial court appearance.
Lewallen was first brought to Palisades General Hospital in North Bergen before being flown by helicopter to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he died.
The teen brought four other people -- all from Rockland County -- with him that night to Old River Road to collect his money, authorities said.
"They were drug dealers, Grootenboer told Superior Court Judge Susan J. Steele. "Noerdlinger knew [Lewallen] was on the way from New York to see him over money.”
Grootenboer said Noerdlinger and Lewallen spoke on the phone and that Noerdlinger had the knife with him when he walked down the block from his Thompson Lane home for the meeting
Two people who came with Lewallen remained in the car, which Grootenboer said was parked about a block away.
He and Noerdlinger spoke for a “at least several minutes” before the situation turned violent, she said.
Noerdlinger went home, told a witness that he stabbed someone, changed clothes and returned to the scene with an accomplice where “they removed items from the crime scene,” the prosecutor said.
“His demeanor was calm,” said Grootenboer, who didn't identify the alleged accomplice. “He wasn’t upset.”
Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said Noerdlinger “is a victim, and was acting to protect his own life.”
He said there will be no plea bargain discussions and that the case will be “fought vigorously” at a trial. Noerdlinger's mother, Rachel, was in court before the hearing but left.
A delegation from New York LIFE Camp Inc. wore orange hoodies to court that said "Peace is a Lifestyle" on front and later created a barrier in front of the defense team. Founder Erica Ford said the organization “values life” and that Noerdlinger was “protecting his life.”
Steele ordered that Noerdlinger remain held on $500,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail after his lawyer entered a not-guilty plea to aggravated manslaughter and hinderng arrest during Tuesday's brief hearing.
The others were then brought into court. The judge kept their bails at $750,000.
Charged with various armed robbery and conspiracy counts are Kevensky Lubin, 28, Richard Jean-Pierre, 18, and Calim Gaspard, 23, all of Spring Valley, and Mirleny Tremols, 33, of Nyack. READ MORE....
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