Bethlehem gang member charged in stabbing, burning death of teen

 

A member of a gang that authorities allege is tied to drug dealing and robberies in the Lehigh Valley has been charged in connection with the brutal death of a Bethlehem teenager in 2018.

Bethlehem police have charged Miles Harper, a member of the Money Rules Everything gang, with homicide and kidnapping in the April 2018 death of 18-year-old Tyrell Michael Holmes outside the Parkhurst Apartments. Holmes' burning body was found in the early morning hours of April 24, 2018, next to a dumpster.

22-year-old Yzire Jenkins-Rowe, who is currently in state prison in Montgomery County, was also arraigned on homicide charges.

Authorities charged Harper with a single count of homicide, five counts of conspiracy, two counts of kidnapping and single counts of arson, aggravated arson and possessing an instrument of a crime. The case was presented to a Northampton County grand jury, which recommended charges on Thursday. The grand jury report has been sealed.

Police have their eye on two more suspects in Holmes's death. The suspects, who were not named, also belong to MRE.

DiLuzio said the investigation remains "very active." Authorities are asking anyone with any information about the homicide or Harper and Jenkins-Rowe or heard anything the morning of the murder to contact Bethlehem detectives at 610-865-7187.

Bethlehem police were initially dispatched to the Parkhurst Apartment complex at Nicholas and Barbara streets about 2:45 a.m. the morning Holmes' body was discovered for a report of a fire near a garbage dumpster.

Initial 911 calls indicated that it appeared a mannequin was on fire. The first officer to arrive put out the fire with an extinguisher. The Northampton County coroner pronounced Holmes dead at the scene and later ruled that he died from smoke inhalation, burns and stab wounds.

District Judge Nicholas Englesson arraigned Harper Thursday afternoon on the latest set of charges. The judge denied bail, but Harper has been in prison since his arrest in July 2018 in connection to a shooting outside the Lehigh Valley Mall that injured two.

He pleaded guilty in March and was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Harper and other members of the gang were charged in April by the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office with racketeering and being a member of a corrupt organization.

In December, Zahmire Welcome pleaded guilty to a felony count of robbery in connection to a July 2018 robbery at Bethlehem's Yosko Park. Following his plea and sentencing, prosecutors said Welcome was being investigated for his possible role in the Holmes murder.

Another reputed member of the MRE gang, Alkiohn Dunkins, was found guilty in the February 2017 robbery of a fellow Moravian College student inside a college residence hall. A Northampton County judge sentenced the 20-year-old to five to 10 years in state prison.

Welcome and Dunkins were among the gang members charged in Lehigh County earlier this year.