Z'Inah Brown was 16 when she fatally stabbed 16-year-old Valaree Schwab inside a Dunkin' Donuts near New Rochelle High School on January 10, 2018.
Authorities say a group of teenagers first confronted and assaulted Schwab on North Avenue, resulting in a serious physical injury to the victim. Schwab also dropped her house keys, and one of her assailants picked them up.
Schwab then followed the group to the Dunkin' Donuts to get the keys, and the dispute again turned physical inside the business. Brown stabbed Schwab, who was pronounced dead later that day at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
Brown was given a chance to address the court during her sentencing Wednesday, but declined and offered no apologies. Instead she listened as the victim's sister delivered a statement on behalf of her family with her father at her side.
"Your violent rampage stole a third sibling away from me long before it was their time," Britney Schwab said. "I hope that her sudden, untimely death will never be used in a discussion as fuel for hate. I hope that, if anything, it can serve as a reminder for young people to find peaceful ways to resolve conflict and for families to hold their loved ones a little closer. I know Valaree would want us to bury hate and choose peace instead."
Valerie Schwab's sister delivers victim impact statement during Z'inah Brown's sentencing. Brown to serve 17 years in prison for manslaughter in the stabbing death of her New Rochelle High School classmate. pic.twitter.com/cgcYQyCQmJ— Marcus Solis (@MarcusSolis7) August 7, 2019
"The family will have a gaping hole in the room and in their heart because their loved one is gone under such tragic circumstances, such violence, so unnecessary," Judge Barry Warhit said.
Two other teens, Dominique Slack and Carl Booker, both pleaded guilty to stalking for being part of the gang who stalked Schwab on that day.
Booker was sentenced March 29, 2019, to "shock probation," where he will be incarcerated in Westchester County Jail for six months and serve a total of five years' probation.
In February, Slack received the same sentence as Booker.
Brown had faced a top charge of second-degree murder prior to pleading guilty.
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