Migrant Fatally Stabs Two Roommates Before Deportation Hearing: Report

By Jason Hall

April 5, 2024

Photo: Middletown Police Department

A Haitian migrant is accused of fatally stabbing his two roommates, also from Haiti, in and around their apartment complex prior to a federal deportation hearing, the New York Post reports.

Kenol Baptiste, 30, was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, both of which are felonies, as well as misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon. Police responded to a stabbing report at a Middletown apartment complex on Monday (April 1) and found one man dead inside a unit and another suffering serious injuries while lying outside on a sidewalk, the Times-Herald Record reported.

The second victim eventually succumbed to the injuries while undergoing surgery at Garnet Health Medical Center. Baptiste was found in a wooded area near the apartment by a police K-9 team shortly after the stabbings took place.

Police haven't yet determined a motive. Baptiste and the two victims, who haven't been publicly identified, were reportedly acquaintances and had shared the apartment for less than a year.

“In follow up with members of the community were are learning that this group of individuals moved in there about a year ago,” Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw told Mid Hudson News following the suspect's arrest.

Local authorities are still working to determine how Baptiste entered the United States initially. Ewanciw said the Haitian migrant came to the U.S. eight months ago, but police were still working "to track back how, where, when."

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said Baptiste was awaiting federal immigration proceedings when the stabbings occurred. Baptiste is currently being held in Orange County Jail and scheduled to make a court appearance on Friday (April 5).

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