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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

March 30, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

IPD annouces arrest in stabbing death of Anthony Nazaire

This story has been updated to include comments from Kiara Nazaire, Anthony Nazaire’s sister.

The Ithaca Police Department has made an arrest in the homicide of Ithaca College sophomore Anthony Nazaire, who was stabbed to death Aug. 28.

Nagee Green, a 23-year-old man from Freeville, New York, will be charged with one count of second-degree murder, a class-A1 felony; and one count of assault in the second degree, a class-D felony, said John Barber, chief of the IPD, during a Nov. 7 news conference. Green allegedly stabbed Nazaire and another currently unidentified 19-year-old student from Ithaca College just before 2 a.m. outside an Omega Psi Phi event at Willard Straight Hall on the Cornell University campus, following a “large fight,” Barber said.

Green was taken into custody at 1:34 p.m. Nov. 7 while waiting for a transit bus to downtown Ithaca.

Charges are being drafted for an arraignment that Barber said would occur later in the night.

Green will be brought in front of the grand jury for court proceedings Nov. 10.

Kiara Nazaire, Anthony’s sister, said the family wants to see Green get a life sentence without parole.   

“We’re grieving and hurting every day,” she said. “You have to wake up and know that this person is still eating, breathing, hugging their family, while we’re still trying to console ourselves, craving for Anthony’s voice and for him to just walk through the door. Every day we’re just expecting a phone call. Every day we have to be reminded that Anthony’s gone.”

The announcement of the arrest comes 71 days after the stabbing.

“This isn’t like TV, when you can watch an episode and you see the crime and the conclusion all within a one-hour period,” Barber said. “It takes time to gather evidence and to put together a good, solid case, … and that’s what we’ve done here. I don’t think any amount of time is too much time, as long as we’re able to bring the person responsible to justice.”

Kiara said the family understood why the investigation took as long as it did.

“I honestly understand where he’s coming from,” she said. “You don’t want any mistakes to allow a person like that to be free in any kind of way. That basically showed how much dedication they put into this case.”

This is not the first time Green has been arrested in Tompkins County; however, Barber would not comment on this at the conference. In April 2016, Green was arrested in the City of Ithaca for unlawful possession of marijuana and a misdemeanor for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, according to a media release by the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

In December 2013, Green was also one of three Tompkins County men charged with felony stolen property charges after a Cornell University police officer found them in possession of two firearms in the Town of Ithaca, according to a Cornell University media release. Police discovered a 16-gauge shotgun and a .22 caliber rifle, which had both been reported stolen in the City of Ithaca.

Barber said he could not release when the IPD knew Green was a suspect or any other details about evidence in the case. However, Barber did say the department is not looking at any additional suspects.

Kiara also said the family has not heard of Green’s name or seen his photo before the news conference.

He said Green was not a student at Ithaca College or Cornell University and that it was unlikely that he had a direct connection with either of the victims.

“It doesn’t appear that he knew them,” he said.

Barber said it is likely that there could be additional charges when brought to court.

He said the IPD and all assisting agencies tracked down “hundreds of leads” before arresting Green.

Nazaire, a business administration major from Brooklyn, New York, was an executive board member of the organization Brothers4Brothers, a club for men to meet and discuss political, social, communal and academic concerns that affect them. He was remembered as a compassionate, caring, hardworking, well-liked student.

“This act of unspeakable violence has no place in Ithaca and is not representative of the community we have here in Ithaca,” Barber said. “To the Nazaire family, I again offer my sincere condolences.”

City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick and Acting District Attorney Andrew Bonavia also spoke at the news conference.

“This is a crime that stunned all of us and I know shook our entire community. This is not something we are used to in Ithaca, New York,” Myrick said. “While we may not have any solace tonight, we can be assured that we will have justice.”

President Tom Rochon commented on the arrest of Green in a Nov. 7 announcement to the campus community.

“The killing of Anthony and wounding of another student have had a deep impact on everyone connected with the college,” he stated. “We have felt both sorrow and anger as a result of this violent crime, and the loss it has brought to so many. While his family cannot be made whole again, we can all do Anthony justice by continuing to keeping his memory alive in our hearts.”

Kiara said her family has been consumed with mixed emotions since the news — relief and continued heartbreak.

“We cry every day. Morning, afternoon and night. Every day.”

Sophia Tulp can be reached at stulp@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @sophia_tulp