A New Jersey man was sentenced to nearly four centuries of prison time on Friday after being convicted of three murders and three attempted murders that were inspired by a Facebook comment that angered him.
Judge Ronald Wigler sentenced Jeremy Arrington, 31, to 375 years in prison for the fatal 2016 stabbings of 8-year-old Aerial Little Whitehurst, her brother 11-year-old Al-Jahon Whitehurst and the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Syasia McBorroughs, whose pictures appear at the top of this story.
Arrington also stabbed the 29-year-old mother of the two dead children and twin siblings — a 13-year-old brother and sister — but they survived the attack inside the Hedden Terrace home in Newark.
Wigler called the crime scene a literal “house of horrors.”
Arrington was convicted of 28 separate counts, including weapons charges, in Essex County Superior Court on March 4, 2022.
The killer’s deadly rage came after one of of the stabbing victims had allegedly reposted a police alert on Facebook that named Arrington as a suspect in an earlier shooting and sexual assault
The horrific incident occurred in the middle of the day on Nov. 5, 2016, when Arrington broke into the Whitehurst residence, armed with a loaded gun, and tied up all of the residents.
He then tortured them with kitchen knives.
That knife-inflicted torture lasted for an hour before a young autistic girl, who was able to escape, called the police from inside a closet.
That call probably prevented the surviving victims from being murdered by Arrington that day.
“Someone in the house, it appears, may have posted the media account of the fact that Mr. Arrington was wanted on a social media platform and it appears that that’s part of the motivation, at least, for him going to the house on Saturday,” then-acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray said at a 2016 press conference.
Murray also noted that Arrington “and the family involved had known each other for many years.” The prosecutor went on to note that one of the victims reposted news about Arrington being wanted as a suspect in an October 2016 shooting and sexual assault.
Arrington fled the scene on the day of the violence. He was arrested the next day after barricading himself inside the home of a friend but eventually negotiated a surrender, according to NJ.com.
“This is not a normal thing and we are not going to get used to it in the city of Newark,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in the immediate aftermath of the gruesome home invasion.
More than five years later, the defendant was convicted after a 10-day-long trial that saw 25 witnesses take the stand. According to law enforcement, Arrington had no history of mental illness.
“We are forever grateful to the courageous survivors and witnesses who testified as well as the investigative personnel who helped bring this defendant to justice. Hopefully this verdict will bring some form of justice to all of the families and friends affected by this defendant’s horrific actions,” said Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab.