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New Jersey Man Convicted Of Three Murders, Three Attempted Murders Over Facebook Comment

Jeremy Arrington was convicted of 28 different charges, including three murders and three attempted murders, over a comment on a Facebook post about him.

By Megan Carpentier
Jeremy Arrington Pd

A New Jersey man has been convicted on 28 separate counts, including three murder charges, after he broke into a woman's home, bound and tortured six people — including four children — and then killed three of them.

Jeremy Arrington, 31, was convicted on Saturday of the murders of Aerial Little Whitehurst, 8, Al-Jahon Whitehurst, 11, and Syasia McBurroughs, 23, according to a press release from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. He was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder, burglary, criminal restraint and weapons charges.

According to the prosecutors office, Arrington broke into a family's Newark home on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 with a loaded firearm and took six people hostage: the Whitehurst children, McBurroughs (who was visiting), the children's then-29-year-old mother and her 13-year-old twin children. There were nine people in the house at the time, which is owned by the grandmother of the children that were killed, NJ.com reported.

One adult and two children escaped the home before Arrington began his assault.

Prosecutors say that Arrington tied up the six victims and proceeded to torture all of them for an hour by stabbing them with kitchen knives. Aerial Little and Al-Jahon Whitehurst died as a result of their stabbing injuries. Arrington eventually shot and killed McBurroughs. The children's mother and her siblings survived the stabbings because of a "young girl with autism who escaped and called from help from her phone in a closet."

Arrington fled the home but was taken into a custody the following evening after a three-hour standoff with police in which he allegedly claimed he was armed and had a hostage, according to NJ.com. (He did not, prosecutors noted.)

At the time of the murders, Arrington had been indicted for his role in a shooting and sexual assault he allegedly committed the previous weekend, NJ.com reported. Newark police then went to the media in the hopes of locating him for arrest.

"Someone in the house, it appears, may have posted the media account of the fact that Mr. Arrington was wanted on a social media platform and it appears that that's part of the motivation, at least, for him going to the house on Saturday," then-acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray said at a press conference in 2016.

Arrington apparently had known the family "for many years" she added; NJ.com reported that the social media platform was Facebook.

Arrington is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8, and faces the possibility of multiple life sentences in the case.

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