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Grand Jury To Decide Westchester Fatal Stabbing Case

Z'inah Brown.
Z'inah Brown. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office

While police continue their manhunt for a second teenage New Rochelle High School student who stabbed another last month, the case of the earlier fatal stabbing near the school is heading to a grand jury, which will determine whether or not the 16-year-old will be indicted for murder for her role in the fatal stabbing of Valaree Schwab.

Z’inah Brown surrendered herself at the New Rochelle Police Department last month, where she was booked for second-degree murder after allegedly stabbing Schwab twice with a steak knife after following her to a local eatery, leading to the teen’s death. Brown’s fate now rests in the hands of a future grand jury after her case was transferred from local court to Westchester County Court.

According to police, officers responded to Dunkin' Donuts on North Avenue shortly after 12:20 p.m. on Jan. 10, where there were reports of a fight involving multiple high school-aged students. During the dispute, Schwab suffered two stab wounds to her torso from a steak knife. She was transported to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, but was pronounced dead there later in the afternoon.

Brown was arrested the following day. Video later released shows Schwab and a friend at Subway on North Avenue, briefly interacting with a group of seven people, including Brown. The group had reportedly been following Schwab for several blocks, harassing her.

The fatal stabbing was following by several other violent incidents involving students, and the manhunt continues for a student involved in a stabbing on Jan 18, according to police.

“We are working closely with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office to identify those individuals involved and what roles they may have played,” New Rochelle Police Capt. Robert Gazzola said. “We realize that members of the press and community are looking for specific answers, however, since this is a an active investigation we cannot release information that may jeopardize the investigation and subsequent prosecution.”

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