Cypress Hills

Brooklyn man faces up to 25 years for stabbing Manhattan chef to death

September 20, 2019 Kelly Mena

A 21-year-old man was convicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court this week for the January 2016 murder of a popular Manhattan chef, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. 

Jahkeem Scott, of Cypress Hills, was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder, second-degree arson and first-degree burglary following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo. 

According to trial testimony, on Jan. 22, 2016, at approximately 9 a.m., the defendant entered the victim’s home through a window on the first floor. The victim, Romulo Heras, 61, was a nighttime chef at Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village in Manhattan and was home asleep at the time. 

Scott stabbed Heras 31 times about the body, neck and head, according to the criminal investigation, and then went on to steal numerous items from Heras’ apartment. Surveillance video footage from inside the apartment building depicts Scott carrying a laundry bag of items as he leaves the victim’s Cypress Hill home.

Scott then set six separate fires to Heras’s apartment, according to the district attorney. The victim’s body was discovered by members of the FDNY who responded to the fire. 

Scott, who fled the scene following the murder, was caught four months later in Virginia in May 2016. The defendant faces up to 25 years to life in prison on the top count of second-degree murder when he is sentenced in October, according to the district attorney. 

“A beloved family man and popular chef was senselessly and brutally murdered in his home,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a public statement. “This verdict is a small measure of justice for Romulo Heras’s wife, children and grandchildren. This defendant has now been held accountable for this terrible crime.”

 

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