2 Men Charged for Carjacking That Killed 3 Kids

Philadelphia suspects also accused of sexually assaulting car owner
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2014 5:44 PM CDT
2 Men Charged for Carjacking That Killed 3 Kids
A police officer walks past the wreckage of a carjacked vehicle that police say hit a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia on Friday, July 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/Philadelphia Daily News, Alejandro A. Alvarez)

Two arrests have been made in the heartbreaking carjacking case that ended with the deaths of three children Friday after the suspects plowed the stolen SUV into a family selling fruit on a Philadelphia street corner. Johnathan Rosa, 19, and Cornelius Crawford, 23, were each charged with three counts of felony murder and other crimes today; they are also accused of sexually assaulting the woman who owned the SUV. Their arrests come after a three-day manhunt involving surveillance footage from nearby businesses and people calling in tips, but it was Rosa's cellphone, left in the back of the SUV, that led to the suspects.

Rosa was initially released after telling police on Saturday that his phone had been stolen, the AP reports, but he turned himself in the following day after seeing pictures of the dead children in a newspaper, and told police Crawford blew a tire while driving recklessly, causing the accident. "He can't get the image of the girl flying over the hood of the SUV out of his mind," says his lawyer, who claims Rosa only got into the SUV after Crawford had already carjacked it. Keisha Williams, 34, the mother of victims Keiearra Williams, 15, Thomas Reed, 10, and Terrence Moore, 7, is still hospitalized, as is a friend who was with the family, and the carjacking victim. (More carjacking stories.)

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