New Jersey Man Gets 375 Years For Killing Woman and Two Children Over Facebook Post

A New Jersey man who killed three people over a Facebook post has been sentenced to 375 years in prison.

Jeremy Arrington, 32, was convicted last month of murdering 23-year-old Syasia McBurroughs, 11-year-old Al-Jahon Whitehurst, and his little sister 7-year-old Ariel Little Whitehurst, because he was angry over something the siblings’ mother had shared on social media.

On October 13, 2016, police in Newark issued an alert asking the public to help track down the then-26-year-old Arrington, who they said shot and sexually assaulted an acquaintance.

Ariel and Al-Jahon’s 29-year-old mother, who knew Arrington for years, re-shared the post — which is what prosecutors said was the motive behind the horrifying attack that would occur on November 5.

With a loaded gun, Arrington broke into the Hedden Terrace home owned by the children’s grandmother, where he encountered nine people. He tied them all up.

Essex County Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab said Arrington then treated the apartment like an “amusement park”, making his way around and stabbing people in turn with kitchen knives, before going back and starting again.

The torture went on for an hour and a half.

“He caused as much pain as he could to that family,” Edwab said, according to

The children were each stabbed more than a dozen times. McBurroughs, a family friend who was just visiting and whom Arrington did not know, was fatally shot in the head.

Three more people, including the children’s mother and her 13-year-old twin siblings, were also stabbed, but survived.

The carnage could have been worse, were it not for another family friend who had been visiting — a young girl with autism — who had managed to hide in a closet and call police from her cellphone.

Arrington escaped the home before police could apprehend him; he fled to a friend’s home and barricaded himself, claiming he had a hostage. This turned out to be a lie. After a standoff with police the following day, he eventually surrendered.

Arrington had been out on bail on an assault charge the day of the murders. He had been arrested 10 times in the decade before the killings. The day he entered the Whitehurst home, he had four felony convictions and three different pending charges.

In court, his defense attorney had tried to plead insanity; the judge rejected it because the lawyer couldn’t find an expert who would testify to that.

Among the survivors speaking at the sentencing trial was Bilqis Karam, the murdered children’s aunt.

She described hearing Ariel’s screams in the bathroom as Arrington repeatedly stabbed her until “after a while, she stopped screaming,” reported.

She said her friend and Amazon colleague McBurroughs begged for her life before being shot in the head execution-style.

Arrington also put a gun in Bilqis’ mouth too, and threatened to kill her.

“I cannot unsee that. I want to unsee that,” she told the court. “He really should have killed me that day. I don’t want to feel this pain anymore.”

Also addressing the court was the children’s grandmother, who apologized to the McBurrough family for failing to protect Syasia, a guest in her home. They shouted back she bears none of the blame.

Arrington did not take the stand during his trial, but did release a short statement apologizing to the families, describing his actions as “craziness and uncalled for”, and claiming he would switch places with the victims if he could.

The families did not accept his apology.

“You committed perhaps the most horrific, heinous, cruel, and depraved murders this county has ever seen,” Judge Ronald D. Wigler told Arrington. “This case may be the worst I’ve ever seen.”

The judge sentenced him to three consecutive life sentences for murder, and three more consecutive 50-year sentences for each of the three attempted murder convictions for the surviving victims.

He will have to serve 281 years before he is eligible for parole.

“Justice has been served,” Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Edwab said. “This defendant is pure evil and clearly deserves all 375 years in New Jersey State Prison for the terrible crimes he committed on Nov. 5, 2016. These families have waited over 5 years for this moment, and we are all so grateful for this sentence.”

Assistant Prosecutor Chelsea Coleman added: “While nothing can bring back the lives of Ariel, Al-Jahon, and Syasia, we hope today’s sentence will provide some sense of closure to their families.”

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