2007-07-20 / Community

Trial Begins In 2004 Double Homicide

By Howard Schwach

The trial of a Rockaway man who shot three teens, killing two of them in January of 2004 began on Thursday in Queens Supreme Court.

Queens D.A. Richard Brown identified the man as Jalah Knight, of Beach 9 Street in Far Rockaway.

Court records show that Knight was out of prison for less than ten days when he allegedly opened fire on Rashard Peppers, 17, Frank Francsois, 16, and Shawn Jones, 17, outside a house on Beach 15 Street, where the teens were guests at a birthday party.

Peppers died at the scene and Francsois died later at St. John's Hospital. Jones reportedly survived and was released after a long stay in the hospital.

Brown said that Knight had a long history of criminal activity. In 1996, he was convicted for marijuana use. In 2000, he pled guilty to weapons possession. Before he served his time on that conviction, he was arrested in Utica, New York on a weapons possession charge. Later, court records show, he violated his parole and was arrested in Queens for rape and then pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a minor.

He was released on December 26, 2003 and the shooting he is charged with took place on January 3, 2004.

Knight faces 50 years in prison if convicted on the charges of second degree murder, attempted murder, assault, weapons possession and reckless endangerment.

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