Judge in Khalil Leak Case ‘Heartbroken’

Interesting piece Sunday in the Journal News about what many have been talking about: the Westchester County Court judge who allowed a New Rochelle toddler sent back into a home where the County argued there had been clear evidence of abuse. Seven months later, 2-year-old Khalil Leak was dead, and the father, Richard Leak, has been charged.  The judge is said to be “heartbroken.”

New Rochelle Father Charged With Murder

A New Rochelle father has been charged with the death of his 2-year-old son early Sunday morning, police said. Richard Leak, 30, is being held in Westchester County Jail following his arrest Wednesday for the murder of his child, Khalil Leak, who already had spent 15 months in foster care after being injured as an infant. At a press conference Thursday morning, New Rochelle police Capt. Joseph Schaller said investigators believe Leak killed the boy by hitting his head against a hard surface, fracturing his skull and ribs. Khalil was pronounced dead less than an hour after arriving at Sound Shore Medical Center shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, Schaller said. Emergency responders took Khalil to the hospital following a call from a neighbor who found the boy unresponsive in his father’s apartment, according to a spokesman for the Westchester County District Attorney.

Scholarship to Help Victim’s Daughters

While we’re all still feeling the shock of last week’s heartbreaking murder of Jennifer Katz, the next step for us as a community is to further Katz’s spirit as a loving mom to her two teenage daughters.

Suspect Convicted in local Cabbie Murder in ’82

The Westchester District Attorney’s office confirms a suspect in the murder last Thursday of a Mamaroneck woman was convicted in 1984 for killing a Mamaroneck cab driver in 1982. The 1982 slaying took place on the New England Thruway in New Rochelle, said D.A. Spokesman Lucian Chalfin. Reggie Powell served 22 years in prison for the killing and was out on parole at the time of Jennifer Katz’s brutal murder in her Baldwin Place home in the Village of Mamaroneck. Chalfin also confirmed one of the suspect’s brothers is Warren Powell, a village sanitation worker who lived with Katz for two years, until 2009. Another brother is Bishop Wayne Powell, who has been pastor at Strait Gate Church at 115 Madison Street in Mamaroneck for 26 years.

Victim was Well-Liked, Involved in Community

Jennifer Katz, the 49 year-old Mamaroneck Mom who was found murdered in her home late Thursday, was well-liked in the community and involved

with her children’s  then-elementary school at Mamaroneck Avenue, and was Team Manager with the Mamaroneck Hot Shots girls’ soccer team several years ago, according to LoHud, on which one of her two daughters played. A 2003 photograph in the Larchmont Gazette shows a beaming Katz with thirteen 3rd and 4th graders,  who ended the season #2 in the League Section. Village of Mamaroneck police have yet to charge anyone with the crime, but say they have interviewed “persons of interest,” including a man known to have recently done work around Katz’s Baldwin Place home. Katz was home alone while her children were with their father, who lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Published reports say Katz had a boyfriend at one time, but they were still friends.

Handyman one Suspect in Mamaroneck Murder

Police continue to say Saturday night they have “several persons of interest” in the murder of Jennifer Katz, and that the suspect was known to the victim. Police have reportedly identified a handyman who worked for Katz as one of the “persons of interest” in connection with the murder of the 49-year-old mother in her Mamaroneck home. CBS News reports the man was “doing some work around the house.” “We have yet to charge anyone for this crime however; we have identified several persons of interest,” the statement said. Neighbors have said Katz, who has two daughters in area public schools, was home alone while her children were with their father, who lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Friends are responding with shock.

Woman Found Murdered in Mamaroneck Home

Mamaroneck Village police made a grim discovery late Thursday night when they found a woman apparently murdered in a Baldwin Place home. The body of Jennifer A. Katz, 49, was found by officers who responded to a call to check on the well being of an individual at the house, according to a Village of Mamaroneck police press release. The discovery was made around 11 p.m.

After a preliminary investigation, the department ruled the death a homicide. Property records show the home is owned by Jennifer A. and Ronald W. Katz. On Friday morning, the house, located at 615 Baldwin Place, was cordoned off by yellow police tape, with half a dozen police cars  parked in front of the brightly painted blue shingle home.  Humane Officers’  vehicles were also at the scene.