Westchester teen pleads guilty to movie theater stabbing death

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Pettiford

WHITE PLAINS – A Yonkers man pled guilty in Westchester County Court on Friday to stabbing another man to death in the Ridge Hill Movie Theater in Yonkers.
Michael Pettiford, 16, pled guilty to killing Daij Thomas, who was seated in the lobby of the Showcase Cinema de Lux Ridge Hills.
On April 15, 2017, Pettiford began to question Thomas and then challenged him to a fight. When Thomas declined the invitation, Pettiford grabbed the victim’s cell phone from his hand. The victim chased Pettiford in an attempt to get the phone back.  A struggle ensued during which Pettiford stabbed Thomas once in the chest.
Thomas died later at a local hospital.
Two knives were recovered at the scene.
On April 18 Yonkers detectives located Pettiford and arrested him at a Yonkers Avenue apartment. A search warrant was obtained and evidence was collected.
When sentenced in March, Pettiford faces 18 years in state prison.