Tyler Flach, of Lido Beach, appeared in court at 2:00 p.m. in Hempstead on second-degree murder charges. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Tyler Flach is silent after appearing in court for charges in the stabbing death of 16-year-old Kahseen Morris. More than 50 teens were at that Long Island strip mall during the attack, but police said onlookers were recording video instead of intervening. https://t.co/JGBsqcC729 pic.twitter.com/128Nk2JDCq— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) September 19, 2019
He's accused in the death of 16-year-old Kahseen Morris, whose stabbing was recorded and watched by dozens of onlookers at an Oceanside strip mall on Monday afternoon.
During the scuffle, Morris, a student at Oceanside High School, was stabbed multiple times in the chest. He was taken to the hospital, where he died.
The confrontation, involving as many as 50 teens, is believed to be part of an on-going dispute over a girl and was likely pre-arranged.
Detectives said Morris was the intended target because of his friendship with the girl, and Flach is described as a friend of the girl's ex-boyfriend.
"(Flach's) in his particular crew or group that he hangs out with, and he came there with his friends to have this fight, and took it to the next level, " said Lieut Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County Police Department.
Flach's attorney maintained his client is innocent.
"At the appropriate time, we will release vital information about what happened that's not captured on video and that completely changes this case. Until then, we ask the community to reserve or judgment and pray for those who are suffering," Edward Sapone said.
Police said Flach has a criminal record, including arrests for an assault last May and possession of a controlled substance earlier this month.
Video of the attack that's been circulating on social media is being used as part of the investigation. Police said many kids decided to take video, rather than help.
At a news conference on Thursday morning, authorities urged people to come forward with whatever videos they have in their possession. They are also looking at surveillance video from area businesses.
"This is a 16-year-old. He's a child. There's nothing more horrific in our business than the murder of a child. So if people have information about that, they need to come forward," said Madeline Singas, Nassau County's district attorney.
At least six others were with Flach during the Monday afternoon brawl, and police are looking into their possible involvement.
"(Morris) was a person that would help anyone, and no one helped him," said Keyanna Morris, Kahseen's sister.
Morris' friends and family gathered at the scene of the stabbing for a candlelight vigil Wednesday night to remember the Oceanside High School student and demand justice.
Morris' family says none of it makes sense.
"It's a hard pill to swallow, sometimes I want to believe it's a bad nightmare," said his aunt, Kameel Gayle.
"He was so happy." 16-year-old Khaseen Morris is remembered by his sister. Morris died after being stabbed during a brawl in Oceanside, Long Island on Monday. Full story: https://t.co/vbKyclmy6I pic.twitter.com/HAcLBJeVwr— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) September 17, 2019
The judge granted Sapone's request to hold Flach in protective custody. He is due back in court next week.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-224-TIPS.
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