Suspects freed in murder case
By Julia Green
The four men who were arrested and charged in the assault of SUNY Delhi student Tyshawn Bierria are to be released due to a lack of evidence.
Olanrewaju Ogunwuyi, 21, Raymond Brightman, 21, William Dorsey Jr., 22, and Jack Daniel Boampong, 19, all of New York City, were arrested and charged with one count each of first-degree gang assault and one count each of second-degree attempted murder, both class B felonies. There was speculation that charges could be upgraded to murder following the death of Bierria on Thursday.
A grand jury convened Friday and Monday to hear evidence, but due to what Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup referred to as problems identifying suspects, the grand jury was unable to indict the four men, who had been held without bail pending the outcome of the grand jury proceedings.
“We took two full days and presented the case as fully and completely as we could, and the grand jury, in applying the facts and the law, simply determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to support those charges,” said Northrup. “There is another suspect who is in custody in New Jersey, and I would expect that we will be prosecuting him.”
The fifth suspect, whose name has not yet been released, is awaiting extradition in New Jersey.
“The college is shocked and extremely disappointed by this development,” said SUNY Delhi spokesman Joel Smith. “Police officials have begun an immediate review of the evidence and they will continue to vigorously pursue and prosecute those who are involved in this tragic incident.
“It is also important to note that the grand jury did hand down one sealed indictment related to the case, so that’s the main thing. But we’re very, very surprised.”
Northrup acknowledged, “They’re looking at whether or not charges are appropriate with regards to any other people.” He added that, “There are other events related to this that may be the subject of other charges – other people and other charges, but not these four individuals. That part of the investigation is still ongoing.”
Bierria suffered multiple stab wounds following an altercation on the SUNY Delhi campus on April 27. He had been listed in critical condition at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown until Thursday, but in a statement released by his mother it was revealed that he was declared dead based on an EEG. The family opted to keep him on life support to enable his organs to be donated. He was taken off life support Friday.
Funeral services for Bierria will be held on Friday in Queens. An individual studies major, he had enough credits to graduate in May.