Man pleads not guilty to allegedly stabbing teen in heart at Long Island mall

OCEANSIDE, Long Island (WABC) -- The man accused of fatally stabbing a teenager in the heart at a Long Island strip mall was indicted Thursday.

Tyler Flach, 19, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. Flach, who is from Long Beach, was charged on five counts, which include murder in the second degree, gang assault, and criminal weapon possession.

Flach said nothing in court as his attorney entered a not guilty plea.

"The bottom line is that Tyler Flach very strongly maintains his innocence and Tyler Flach did not commit a crime that day," defense attorney Edward Sapone said.

Khaseen Morris, 16, was killed in an after-school brawl outside of a strip mall in Oceanside on September 16. The prosecution says that Flach straddled Morris and stabbed him in the heart with a knife.

Morris was transported to the hospital where he died. A friend of Morris' was also attacked, suffering a broken arm.

"Khaseen Morris was a bright and gregarious young man whose life was stolen in this horrific and senseless act of violence," said Madeline Singas, Nassau County's district attorney.

The murder happened in the middle of the day, while several onlookers watched.

Morris' sisters say their grief is overwhelming.

"One thing we know, our family, we will fight for each other no matter what," said Kevanna Morris, the victim's sister. "We're going to stand and fight for our brother."

Seven others believed to be involved in the attack have been charged with gang assault after investigators watched eyewitness cellphone videos. The attack is believed to have been pre-arranged.

Flach remains in custody and is being held without bail.

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