Posted at: 02/04/2013 7:48 PM
Updated at: 02/05/2013 11:33 PM
By: WNYT Staff
TROY – Instead of sitting inside high school classrooms, two Troy teenagers were paraded through a criminal courtroom Tuesday morning. Ahziarh Carter, 16, and Keith Ferguson, 17, have been charged with second degree murder in the stabbing death Monday night at the Corliss Park Apartments, that left 21-year old Takim Smith dead from a stab wound.
Both teens pled not guilty and were sent to the Rensselaer County Jail without bail.
"They're local young men and we've had contact with one of the individuals on previous occasions," said Deputy Troy Police Chief Richard McAvoy.
McAvoy says surveillance tapes from the Troy Housing Authority helped detectives piece the case together, the city's first homicide of 2013.
"This is a heinous act," said Mayor Lou Rosamilia. "With a 16 and 17 year old in custody, it's a tragedy and it's very alarming. We've got to work together in the city to rout this problem. We can't simply have an officer on every corner every minute of every day, but we have to continue our efforts to stop the first domino from falling."
The mayor also vowed to continue working hard to increase the police presence and engage the communities in discussion to "stop these crimes."
The victim's grandfather, Anthony Smith says Takim recently received a medical settlement for lead poisoning that totaled $62,000, and he suspects his grandson was killed for that money.
Police say robbery was the motive.
Meanwhile, family members of Takim Smith, who gathered at Troy Police Court Tuesday morning, were understandably distraught.
"He went to see his son," said Roshana McArthur, Takim's mother. "He was supposed to be going to work. He went to see his son and go to work. He's a loving father. He was a good kid, an excellent kid, who didn't do wrong by nobody. He's never been arrested."
Defense attorney Lee Kindlon represents Keith Ferguson.
"(Ferguson) is in the Rensselaer County Jail for a crime he didn't commit," Kindlon insisted. "He was taken out of his bed in the middle of the night and charged with murder. It's understandable the family doesn't know what to do right now."