2004-01-09 / Front Page

Fresh From Prison, Local Arrested For Murder

Two Teens Dead, One Left In Critical Condition
By Brian Magoolaghan
Fresh From Prison, Local Arrested For Murder<br />

Fresh From Prison, Local Arrested For Murder

The trouble started in front of this house on Beach 15 Street in Far Rockaway.The trouble started in front of this house on Beach 15 Street in Far Rockaway.

The 25-year-old accused of shooting three teens in Far Rockaway last Saturday, killing two of them, has a history of criminal activity and was out of prison for less than 10 days when he allegedly committed his latest crime.

Court records show Jalah Knight, of 707 Beach 9 Street, has a long history of criminal behavior. His first conviction dates back to 1996 when he was sentenced to time served for criminal marijuana possession. In 2000, Knight pled guilty to criminal weapons possession, a felony. Before serving a one-year sentence, he was arrested for criminal weapons possession again, this time in upstate Utica. Later, after violating parole, he was arrested in Queens for rape, and then pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child.

Knight was released on December 26, 2003 after serving a one-year sentence. He allegedly opened fire on Rashard Peppers, 17, Frank Francois, 16, and Shawn Jones, 17, on January 3, 2004. Peppers died at the scene, Francois died at St. John's Hospital and Jones remains in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital, police said.

Detectives from the 101 Precinct, led by Commanding Officer Walter Salowski and Squad Commander Sergeant Raymond Johnson, arrested Knight on Monday. He was charged with two counts of second degree murder, attempted murder, assault, weapons possession and reckless endangerment at his arraignment Wednesday morning, according to the Queen District Attorney Richard Brown's office. He was denied bail, and faces up to 50 years to life in prison if he is convicted, Brown said.

The shooting was reportedly sparked at around 10 p.m. last Saturday night, when Knight became involved in a dispute with the victims outside a house party held by a teenage Far Rockaway girl.

Knights next court date is scheduled for January 22.

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