Chung Chin, a 70-year-old Philadelphia man, was beaten to death in what investigators believe was a botched carjacking in December. Now, a 12-year-old boy and two teens are facing charges in connection with the murder.
Philadelphia police announced Wednesday that a 12-year-old was taken into custody early this month, and stands accused of homicide, robbery, auto theft, and other related counts. The child’s name was not published on account of his young age.
Last month, authorities arrested 18-year-old John Nusslein on similar charges in connection with the December slaying. Police said they’ve obtained an arrest warrant for a third suspect, 16-year-old Qiyam Muhammad, but that he remains at large as of Wednesday.
What Happened to Chung Chin?
According to local reports, the 70-year-old was outside on the 3000 block of Teesdale Street in Philadelphia’s Mayfair neighborhood on Dec. 2.
At about 7 p.m., prosecutors believe that Nusslein, Muhammad, and their alleged 12-year-old accomplice ambushed Chin, violently knocking him to the ground before punching and kicking him in the head.
After Chin was incapacitated, investigators claim the three suspects stole his Toyota Camry and fled the area.
Philadelphia police said they arrived on the scene to find the 70-year-old victim unresponsive, and bleeding badly from his head and face. Chin was rushed to nearby Jefferson Torresdale Hospital in critical condition, where medical personnel said he’d suffered facial fractures and an unspecified “brain injury,” according to court documents.
On Dec. 21, Chung Chin died from his injuries just under three weeks after he was attacked. Local media outlets said they have been unable to make contact with the 70-year-old’s surviving family.
12-Year-Old Boy Among Suspects Charged
The first arrest in the case came almost a month after Chin succumbed to his injuries. On Jan. 14, Philadelphia police arrested 18-year-old Nusslein on murder charges.
His suspected accomplice, the unnamed 12-year-old boy, was taken into custody on Feb. 3. Investigators have not said if Chin’s car was ever recovered, or what led them to eye the teens as possible culprits in his killing.
Both youths are charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy, and evidence tampering, as authorities believe they removed the car’s license plate after allegedly stealing it. They’re also reportedly charged with weapons violations, but more details were not immediately available. Investigators have not said they believe a weapon was used in the commission of Chin’s murder.
The 12-year-old is being tried as an adult, per the Philadelphia Inquirer, meaning that he and Nusslein both face the possibility of a life sentence if convicted of the homicide count.
Reports indicate that both suspects in custody are being held without bond, and lawyers for each suspect ignored requests for comment Wednesday. The 12-year-old is due back in court for a preliminary hearing sometime next week, while Nusslein is scheduled to appear before a judge in April.
Qiyam Muhammad, the 16-year-old suspect that police stay is still at large, faces the same charges, according to reports.
At the time of Nusslein’s arrest in January, police said they believed he and his alleged accomplices may have been responsible for similar violent carjackings in northeast Philadelphia.
“The suspects are also believed to be responsible for additional carjackings, and this case goes to show, even if the offenders don’t have a gun during a carjacking, the result can still be deadly,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Ben Naish in an interview last month.
No further details were given, and as of this week, prosecutors have not signaled they intend to file additional charges.
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