Teen on trial for murdering a man during a home invasion

A 17-year-old boy appeared in court on Thursday, charged with the deadly shooting of a 27-year-old man in Syracuse during a home invasion that occurred on the North Side of the city.

The teenager, Junari Harold, had his name unveiled in court, despite initial efforts to withhold it due to his age. He now faces prosecution as an adult in the Onondaga County Court.

According to the indictment presented in court, Harold is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Harold is the second individual implicated in the murder of Tyus Ogletree on January 7, 2023. Just a few days after the crime, Vladimir Fernandez, a 24-year-old Syracuse resident, was arrested.

Both Harold and Fernandez are alleged to have forcibly entered a home at 212 Sunset Avenue, where Ogletree was residing with his girlfriend and her three young children.

A witness recalled hearing a loud knock on the door before someone barged in. While the witness did not see the ensuing incident, they heard a commotion from within the house. Soon after, the witness discovered Ogletree in the kitchen, gravely injured from a chest gunshot wound.

Fernandez was also injured, having been shot in the leg. He was found in the street, subsequently taken to the Upstate University Hospital, and was arrested upon his discharge.

Harold was apprehended several days after the incident. His defense attorney, Nicholas DeMartino, argued that the evidence tying the teenager to the crime is insubstantial.

DeMartino revealed that it took considerable time for a youth court judge to determine whether Harold should face trial as an adult. The primary evidence put forth during the youth court hearing was a video showing Harold and Fernandez walking together on the North Side around the crime’s timing.

However, DeMartino insisted that there was no evidence indicating that Harold broke into the Sunset Avenue home, was in possession of the firearm, or fired any shots.

As the case proceeds, Harold is being held at the Hillbrook Juvenile Detention Center, with bail set at $1 million cash or a $2 million bond. Meanwhile, Fernandez is being detained at the Justice Center jail, with bail set at $500,000 cash or a $1 million bond.