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Man charged with murder of 11-year-old Jerome Smith

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — A man has been charged in the February murder of a child in Johnson City, according to the office of Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell.

Jerome Smith, 11, was found dead in an apartment at 87 Burbank Avenue on February 2.

Cornwell’s office says Larry Harris, 44, was indicted on the following charges, (1) Murder, second degree, class A felony and, (2) Manslaughter, first degree, class B felony.

Officials say Harris was indicted earlier this month, but the indictment was unsealed Wednesday in Broome County Court.

We still do not know how Smith died, but the DA has asked for patience when it comes to how much information about the case can be released.

“It’s tough for the public because they want to know and I want to tell them, because the public has the right to know but the rules prevent us from talking about pending cases and what’s happening and going on behind the scenes can’t come out. It has to come out in court,” Cornwell said Thursday.

According to Cornwell’s office, no charges were filed against Harris related to this case until the DA’s office made a direct presentation to a grand jury.

According to the indictment, Harris intended to cause the death of another person, but caused the death of Jerome Smith. Harris’ last known address is listed as the same apartment where Smith’s body was found, but Cornwell could not comment on whether Harris was living there at the time of Smith’s death.

Less than a week after his death, the boy’s mother, Shakia Crute, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, a class C felony. Prosecutors say as of now, she’s still facing that charge.

Cornwell said his office will make sure to find the truth of what happened.

“We always try to serve justice, and that’s what we do,” the DA said.

Nicky Hickling

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