Harlem teen indicted for brutally murdering girlfriend during argument over phone

An 18-year-old faces murder charges for allegedly stabbing his 16-year-old girlfriend to death in Harlem last month, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

According to prosecutors, Syaire Crumbley brutally stabbed 16-year-old Saniyah Lawrence on Dec. 11 during a heated argument that began when the young woman received a phone call inside a friend’s apartment.

Crumbley allegedly became furious, and later grabbed her phone and attempted to leave the residence. 

When Lawrence stopped her boyfriend, and attempted to get her phone back, the suspect issued a violent warning — “get back or I’ll stab you,” according to the DA’s office. 

As the fight continued over the phone, Crumbley allegedly plunged a knife into her neck. 

He then ran out of the apartment, while still in possession of both the knife and the victim’s phone. 

Emergency responders arrived on the scene shortly after and rushed the bloodied victim to Harlem Hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead shortly after.

Investigators later caught up with the suspect, and arrested him on sight. 

Harlem murder victim Saniyah Lawrence
A poster in Harlem advertises a memorial vigil for Saniyah LawrencePhoto by Lloyd Mitchell

Prosecutors with Bragg’s office charged the teen with two counts of Murder in the Second Degree and one count of Robbery in the First Degree. 

“Saniyah Lawrence’s young life was tragically cut short by this shocking crime allegedly committed by her boyfriend,” said Bragg in a statement. “My thoughts are with Ms. Lawrence’s family and loved ones as they experience this unimaginable pain.”

Between Jan. and Dec. 25 of 2022, Manhattan had seen 74 murders.

During that span, the Five Boroughs saw a collective 418 killings — down from the 481 murders during the same time period in 2021. 

Incidents of domestic violence can be reported to our Office’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 212-335-4308 or by visiting the Manhattan Family Justice Center at 80 Centre Street. Help is available for those in need, regardless of immigration status.

For more coverage of murders and crimes, head to amNY.com.