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Entries in Newburgh NY (8)


Cory Byrd Indicted in Death of 4-Year-Old

Something tragic happened to Marc Anthony Bookal, on Dec. 14, 2009, when he was 4 years old. He was killed. Despite a massive manhunt for the little boy, his body was not discovered until three months later, stuffed into two plastic bags and hidden under brush in a deserted field in the city of Newburgh, NY. 

The last person to see little Marc alive was his mother's boyfriend, Cory Byrd, who claimed that the boy had disappeared after he left unnoticed through an open door. Cory, who has a violent criminal record, was on parole at the time of the boy's disappearance. He was arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and parole violation. To read more about this case click here.

Almost one year after finding the remains of Marc Bookal, Cory Byrd was charged with his murder. In fact Cory Byrd faces six charges in relation to the death of the 4-year-old:


  • Intentional Murder in the 2nd Degree 
  • Depraved Indifference Murder in the 2nd Degree
  • Manslaughter in the 1st Degree
  • Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree
  • Two Counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence


According to District Attorney Frank Phillips: “As a result of an autopsy it was determined that Marc Bookal died as a result of blunt force trauma and numerous injuries throughout his body and upon his head.”

“Obviously a very tragic event when anybody dies as a result of a homicide, compounded extraordinarily when that victim is 4 years of age,” the DA continued.

Marc Bookal's biological father, Yul Bookal said:

“Even if I lose my job, [I've] got be there. If I have be at the court, I don’t care, I got to be there for my son. I got to represent him. He’s dead, he can’t represent himself,”

Referring to Cory Byrd, Yul Bookal said:

“He’s just an evil [expletive]. He need to be put to death. I wish New York had the death penalty"

“What could a little four-year-old boy have done to make you kill him?” Yul Bookal said at the funeral last year. “I’m trying to make sense out of it, but it makes no sense.”


"Pinky" Gets 18 Months for Manslaughter

The 13-year-old boy known as "Pinky" - accused and convicted of stabbing 17-year-old Levi King Flores to death on the streets of Newburgh, NY - was sentenced by Orange County Family Court Judge Andrew Bivona to 18 months in a state juvenile facility. It was the maximum sentence allowed under the law. "Pinky" could be out by his 15th birthday. 

It was a case that highlighted the gang violence and rivalry in Newburgh. The two gangs, the BBK and La Eme - represented by "Pinky" and Levi King Flores respectively - are sworn enemies and often go out of their way to provoke and antagonize each other. This is apparently what happen on the afternoon of Jan. 13, 2010 when an incident between the two rivals escalated into a confrontation in which Flores was stabbed to death.

Before sentencing, Judge Andrew Bivona took into account a report prepared by Senior Probation Officer Bernadette Bergin. It detailed parts of the truant teen's life: Suspensions from school; Bringing a knife to school; Pictures with him displaying gang signs etc. After conducting interviews with "Pinky", Bernadette Bergin concluded: "He showed no remorse."

"Pinky" will be in the custody of the state Office of Children and Family Services, which could hold him until his 18th birthday or release him earlier.

The parents of Levi King Flores, Carlos and Martha, were disappointed not only with the sentence but also the 13-year-old's lack of remorse. They wanted to see him locked away for a much longer time and they also wanted a personal apology from him. Neither the law nor the perpetrator gave them what they wanted.

Levi's father, Carlos Flores, stood in front of the court and spoke of an emptiness in their family now that his son is dead. "My wife, Martha, is destroyed," he said.

He doesn't care, said Cynthia Herrera, Levi's girlfriend and the mother of his infant daughter. She cried in the parking lot and leaned against Martha Lopez Flores. Carlos said the law sends a message to other young boys that they can kill without consequence. Martha spoke to Cynthia in Spanish.

"We're just waiting for God to punish him," Martha said.

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"Pinky" Found Guilty

"Pinky" the 13-year-old Newburgh boy accused of manslaughter in the stabbing death of 17-year-old Levi King Flores was found guilty by Orange County Family Court Judge Andrew Bivona. He had been charged as a juvenile with:

  • 1 Count Second-Degree Manslaughter (felony) 
  • 3 Counts of Second-Degree Assault (felonies)
  • 1 Count of Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

At the time of his arrest "Pinky" had been charged as an adult with second-degree murder. Later a grand jury, finding there was insufficient evidence to support that charge, opted instead to charge him as a juvenile with the lesser offense of second-degree manslaughter. 

The trial began on Feb. 3, 2010 in Goshen, NY. The prosecution introduced as evidence - a videotaped interview with the boy, the knife used in the killing and DNA evidence - all of which was deemed inadmissible because the police failed to follow proper procedures.

The trial did however continue with two witnesses, a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old boy, who were allowed to testify. They told the court of the events leading up to the street fight resulting in the death of 17-year-old Levi King Flores.

The prosecution wrapped up its case against "Pinky" on Wed. Feb. 17. The defense declined to present any witnesses - not even "Pinky" himself - and requested that the charges be dismissed. The judge, Andrew Bivona, did no such thing.

Without so much as taking a break, Judge Andrew Bivona of Orange County Family Court declared the 13-year-old boy guilty.

After the verdict the family of the slain 17-year-old Levi King Flores went into consultation with the prosecutors.

13-year-old "Pinky" faces possible incarceration until he is 18. His family left the court without any comment.

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The "Pinky" Trial Continues

On trial at Orange County Family Court in Goshen, NY, is the 13-year-old boy known as "Pinky". He has been charged in the stabbing death of 17-year-old Levi King Flores on Jan. 13, 2010 in Newburgh NY. The trial began on Feb. 3 with police statements that the 13-year-old "Pinky" had assisted them in recovering the knife used in the attack. See the details here.

The prosecution suffered a setback when Family Court Judge Andrew Bivona threw out much of the evidence, including the statements made by "Pinky" when he was questioned by the police and the knife used to kill Levi King Flores, which the boy had helped them find - calling them the "fruit of the poisonous tree." Here is why the judge threw out the evidence:

As previously noted both the boy and his mother were read his Miranda rights. The mother was told in Spanish and the boy, who speaks English, in English. The problem was that the police conducted the entire interview with the boy in English, which his mother did not understand.

The boy's attorney, Stuart Greenberg, argued that "the language barrier of the mother prevented her from helping her son understand what police were asking and the consequences of answering." The judge agreed and granted Greenberg's motion to suppress the boy's statements.

Since the police were unable to use the boy's statements, they were also unable to use any evidence obtained from the interview with the boy, including the knife and any DNA evidence recovered from the scene.

Prosecutors were however allowed to use identifications made by two witnesses who claimed to see the stabbing. Each picked the boy out of a photo array as the killer. They were both friends of Levi.

The trial continued with the testimony of two of Levi King Flores' friends, both of them in 7th grade. They described the events leading up to the death of the 17-year-old. Both parents of Levi King Flores were in court, silently watching the proceedings.


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The first to testify was a 13-year-old boy. This is how he described what happened:

Levi and his friends were playing on a frozen pond in Downing Park. They had a small bat and were trying to punch a hole in the ice. A group of girls approached them and started swearing at them. One of the girls was the sister of the 13-year-old defendant, "Pinky". The girls continued to belittle the gang the boys belonged to - La Eme. During the confrontation "Pinky's" sister used her cellphone to call her brother. He came to join them and they all left going in the direction of a nearby store.

Levi and his friends also left, heading in the same direction. The argument continued culminating in a fight between "Pinky" and another 12-year-old boy. At the same time, Levi himself, was arguing with "Pinky's" sister and eventually got caught up in ongoing the fight. No one knew at the time that "Pinky" had a knife - hidden in one of his sleeves - until it was too late.

"After that Levi was limping, and we carried him to St. Luke's," he said.

After relating the story the boy was crying. "Pinky's" lawyer, Stuart Greenberg, gave the boy time to recover before starting the cross-examination. Under cross-examination the boy said that Levi King Flores was indeed a member of the Newburgh street gang known as La Eme. He said that he did not know what had happened to the bat used to break the ice on the pond. He also said that it was not used in the fight.

When the second witness - a 12-year-old boy - took the stand he recounted the same story as the previous boy. When the Assistant District Attorney Allan Drian asked him to lift up his shirt, he revealed the scars left from the three puncture wounds he had received during the knife attack. This provoked an audible gasp from Martha, Levi's mother.

The trial continues.......

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13-Year-Old "Pinky" on Trial

"Pinky" is of course not his real name, but that is what he is called on the streets of Newburgh. His real name has not been released by the police because of his age - he is only 13 years old. "Pinky" has been accused of stabbing 17-year-old Levi King Flores to death in a street fight in which three other teens were also stabbed but survived.

Read about the details of the case here and here.

"Pinky" was originally charged with murder but because of his age and other factors he now faces:

  • 1 Count Second-Degree Manslaughter (felony) 
  • 3 Counts of Second-Degree Assault (felonies)
  • 1 Count of Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Weapon.
  • For his own protection "Pinky" is being held in a secure youth detention center in Erie County. He had previously been jumped by other teens while in a Westchester County youth detention center. Also because of his age and the charges against him, "Pinky" is being tried as a juvenile in Family Court. According to the Times Herald-Record:

    The longest sentence the boy could face is 18 months at a stretch in secure detention, but the state Office of Children and Family Services can return to court to keep a juvenile in secure detention until age 18.

    His trial began on Wednesday, Feb.3, 2010 in front of Judge Andrew P. Bivona in Orange County Family Court. Senior Assistant County Attorney Allan Drian is the prosecutor in the case. The boy's lawyer is Stuart Greenberg. The trial is expected to last about two weeks.


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    On the first day of the trial, police testified that before they began to question "Pinky", his mother was advised, in Spanish, of the boy's rights. They say the boy assisted them by returning to the crime scene - at the corner of First St. and Carpenter Ave. in Newburgh - and helped them find the weapon he had used and then tossed away. Evidence against the 13-year-old includes a videotaped interview, DNA evidence and eye-witness statements.

    Hinting at possible previous confrontations, the defense attorney, Stuart Greenberg, requested that the judge order the prosecution to turn over any documentation of arrests in connection with a gang assault on the 13-year-old and his sister prior to the stabbings.

    The trial continues......

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