The two Riverhead men accused of breaking into a mobile home on Horton Avenue at 4 a.m. Sunday morning while its occupants were asleep in their beds are being held at the Suffolk County jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail, following their arraignment this afternoon before Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith.
Both are facing felony robbery and burglary charges stemming from the incident.
Tremel Kelly, 20, wearing a white paper jumpsuit, cursed at reporters as he was led into the courtroom by police.
Kelly, who told the judge during the arraignment he is unemployed and has never had a job, said he has been homeless for “a couple of months.”
He was apprehended by police this morning at the Budget Host Inn in Riverside, where police said he was found hiding in a guest room. Kelly had fled from police on foot from Riverleigh Avenue, where the taxi he was riding in, driven by a second man charged in the robbery, was stopped by police after a short pursuit, police said. A police K9 unit assisted in the search for Kelly, police said.
Kelly was arraigned on charges of robbery in the second degree, a class C felony, burglary in the second degree, and criminal mischief in the third degree, a class E felony, and criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a class A misdemeanor.
Kelly, “acting in concert with Howard Ferebee,” forcibly entered the Horton Avenue home of Melanie Carter, damaging the door frame and an entertainment shelf, and stole a 32-inch flat-screen television from the home, according to charges read in court by the judge.
“They burst in and snatched the TV right off the wall,” Carter told RiverheadLOCAL this morning.
Her son, William White, the other occupant of the home at the time of the robbery, said he was “very shocked” that he and his mother would be the target of such a crime. Police said White got into a physical algecation with Kelly and Ferebee in the driveway before the two put the TV into Ferebee’s waiting taxi and drove off.
Remanded to the county correctional facility in lieu of $50,000 cash bail, Kelly is due back in court tomorrow morning, where he will be represented by a Legal Aid Society lawyer, the judge said.
His alleged accomplice, Howard Ferebee, 28, of 784 Middle Road, told the court he is a driver for Hampton Town Taxi and also works for an East Hampton moving company. He was driving a Hampton Town Taxi cab this morning when he and Kelly broke into Carter’s home, according to police.
Kelly and Ferebee fled from the home in Ferebee’s cab, police said.
Ferebee was arraigned on second-degree robbery and second-degree burglary charges and on an additional charge of criminal facilitation in the fourth degree.
The taxi cab he was driving was impounded, police said.
Both Kelly and Ferebee have prior criminal convictions. Kelly was charged with grand larceny in an auto theft last year (see prior story) and in February 2011 was one of 23 people indicted on drug charges after an East End Drug Task Force investigation. (See Feb. 3, 2011 story, “DA Spota: ‘Bloods dealing crack’ in Riverhead.”) Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota in 2011 identified Kelly as a member of the Bloods gang.
Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. By law, a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.