By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEWARK NEW JERSEY, Mon. Jan. 4, 2021: A Jamaican-born, US Army Private has been slapped with kidnapping and murder charges related to the death of Corporal Hayden Harris.
Private Jamaal Mellish, 23, and a resident of Brooklyn, New York, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree possession of a weapon without a permit, and second-degree possession of weapons for unlawful purposes. Mellish, a past student of Manning’s High School in Westmoreland, Jamaica, is also charged with suppressing evidence.
An unidentified 16-year-old boy has been also charged jointly with him over the murder of Corporal Harris, 20, in Byram Township, New Jersey. His body was found on December 19, 2020.
Reports indicate Harris was last heard from between 8 p.m. on December 17th and 6:30 a.m. on December 18th. He was reportedly headed to Watertown, New York, which is located near to the Fort Drum army base where he was assigned duties.
Further reports are that Harris was destined to meet Mellish for what has been described as a motor vehicle transaction. It has been theorized that a dispute later developed between the two army men, resulting in Mellish kidnapping Harris and driving the latter’s vehicle to Brooklyn, New York.
The Jamaican, along with the teenager who was also in the vehicle, then allegedly proceeded to Bryram Township with Harris as their captive.
Sometime later, he was shot dead.
Harris’ body was found with gunshot wounds buried in snow in a wooded area near Ross Road in Byram Township, Sussex County in New York on December 19, US authorities said.
Following a probe, Mellish and the teenager were apprehended, and were charged on December 28th.
Mellish attended Mannings High School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, Jamaica where he played football. He represented the school in the DaCosta Cup. He later attended George W. Wingate High School in New York City after migrating and then theASA College in Brooklyn where he also played soccer for the ASA Brooklyn Avengers.
No official motive has been given for the killing.